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Putting Green Infrastructure on Private Property in New York City

Gundlach, Justin M.

New York's Department of Environmental Protection is under pressure to install large amounts of green infrastructure in order to take pressure off of the city's combined sewer system, which currently discharges raw sewage into adjacent water bodies during periods of moderate to severe precipitation. Installing enough green infrastructure to make a difference to that end (and others) means encouraging a large number of private property owners to install rain gardens and green roofs. Efforts to do that to date have fallen short. This paper discusses the city's goals for green infrastructure (and reasons for wanting it), the challenges facing efforts to spend public money on assets installed on private property, and possible sources of solutions.

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