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Tuesday, April 10 • 10:00am - 10:15am
SYMPOSIA-10: Not so vacant? Evaluating vacant lots as passive green infrastructure for the rendering of hydrologic ecosystem services

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AUTHORS: Shuster, WD*, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory; Herrmann, DL, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory; Grosshans, J, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5; Schifman, LA, U.S. EPA, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory; Furio, B, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5

ABSTRACT: Social and economic drivers have resulted in population loss and altered demographics in many Great Lakes basin cities. This change has created a landscape mosaic that includes extensive coverage in blighted parcels, which – through proper demolition and site finishing – may satisfy a growing demand for local ecosystem services rendered via passive green infrastructure (e.g., vacant lots). In general, green infrastructure represents a suite of scalable practices to manage water quantity, but specifically urbanized landscapes with a high proportion of pervious surfaces may passively render ecosystem services. Yet, the hydrologic processes and capacities of these landscapes are tied to poorly-characterized urban soil conditions. Drawing on a unique urban soil taxonomic and hydrologic dataset collected in 12 cities (each city representing a major soil order), we determined how urbanization processes (compared to paired reference soil series) alter the hydrology of urban landscapes. Using field datasets from Cleveland OH and Detroit MI we parameterize an unsaturated zone model (HYDRUS1D) to quantify and illustrate how variability in urban soil taxonomy and hydrology contribute to the rendering of supporting (plant-available soil water) and regulating (runoff mitigation) ecosystem services. These results contribute to our understanding of how high-vacancy urban landscapes may play a role in rendering ecosystem services in urban centers, while contributing to compliance with the U.S. Clean Water Act.

Tuesday April 10, 2018 10:00am - 10:15am
Hancock Parlor

Attendees (3)