Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Saint Paul
Rain as a Resource
Saint Paul aspires towards a greener future for stormwater infrastructure: hold the water and use it
as a visible resource. In traditional developments, stormwater is handled by pipes constructed by each landowner, buried underground that transport excess rainwater to sewers for disposal. Green stormwater infrastructure can transform the rain seen as a waste and a hazard into a community resource, ecosystem habitat, and selling point for future landowners. The City of Saint Paul is actively working to transform the paradigm of stormwater management, bringing stormwater out of the ground, and into the community.
Working with developers, community members, and other public agencies, the City is creating a framework for Green Infrastructure Financing Districts. Large redevelopment tracts for future urban neighborhoods will have dedicated financial mechanisms (capital and operation) to support an upfront shared, or district, green stormwater system. This visible infrastructure can also be built in areas of the land tract that are less developable, transforming less-useful land into a utility that can also be enjoyed as a recreational amenity by future residents and customers.
The West Side Flats redevelopment on the Mississippi River across from downtown Saint Paul will include a mixed-income, mixed-use community with a greenway that will provide both recreational opportunities and stormwater control.
On Earth Day 2017, Saint Paul hosted a visioning event to include area residents in the plan for the future greenway.