RESOURCES FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
AND VALUES-BASED COMMUNICATION:
VISUALIZING SHARED MEANING:
TREES AS DRAINAGE ASSETS
Storm drains are tracked and managed as critical infrastructure, while trees typically are not. The images to the left show what’s missing from the picture when cities fail to recognize and manage green assets as part of an integrated infrastructure system.
COLORADO SPRINGS, COlorado
Established a stormwater utility and implemented an integrated infrastructure plan that meets multiple compliance, service-delivery, and community objectives. They did not use the term green in their outreach. They presented green infrastructure as cost-effective, multi-purpose, REAL infrastructure and capitalized on the community’s shared value of personal accountability to make it clear that stormwater is everyone’s responsibility.
Built public demand around shared values using a beloved natural resource. While climate adaptation may not have been a strong driver for everyone in the community, protecting the Spokane River was. Their Cleaner River Faster campaign instilled the urgency, sense of responsibility, and shared community value needed to get the public buy-in necessary to issue $540 million in green bonds over two years.
Omaha Stormwater hosts Lunch ‘n’ Learns for engineers and an annual GI tour with engineering students in Nebraska, Iowa, and now the Dakotas. This builds shared understanding and social capital internally and invests in it for the future.
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© Earth Economics 2018