Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1139–1148 | Cite as

Developing a framework for stormwater management: leveraging ancillary benefits from urban greenspace

  • Fushcia-Ann Hoover
  • Matthew E. HoptonEmail author


Managing stormwater and wastewater has been a priority for cities for millennia, but has become increasingly complicated as urban areas grow and develop. Since the mid-1800s, cites often relied on an integrated system of underground pipes, pumps, and other built infrastructure (termed gray infrastructure) to convey stormwater away from developed areas. Unfortunately, this gray infrastructure is aging and often exceeds its designed capacity. In an effort to alleviate issues related to excess stormwater, many urban areas across the United States are interested in using green infrastructure as a stopgap or supplement to inadequate gray infrastructure. Green infrastructure and other greenspace promote interception and/or infiltration of stormwater by using the natural hydrologic properties of soil and vegetation. Furthermore, there are numerous ancillary benefits, in addition to stormwater benefits, that make the use of greenspace desirable. Collectively, these ecosystem services can benefit multiple aspects of a community by providing benefits in a targeted manner. In this paper, we present a framework for balancing stormwater management against ancillary benefits of urban greenspace. The framework is structured around the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment ecosystem service categories: provisioning, cultural, regulatory, and supporting services. The purpose is to help communities better manage their systems by 1) allowing stakeholders to prioritize and address their needs and concerns within a community, and 2) maximize the ecosystem service benefits received from urban greenspace.


Green infrastructure Ecosystem services Stormwater management Greenspace Framework 



This research was performed while F. Hoover held a National Research Council Research Associateship Award at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). US EPA funded and participated in the research described herein. Any opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency; therefore, no official endorsement should be inferred.

Compliance with ethical standards

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11252_2019_890_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (72 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 71 kb)


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United States Environmental Protection AgencyOffice of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Water Systems DivisionCincinnatiUSA

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