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Resilience at UMass Amherst: A Sustainable Sites Initiative Inspired Master's Project

Abstract
A new movement to plan and design monitorable green stormwater infrastructure is beginning to emerge. Faced with the imminent effects of climate change, "sustainability" is becoming a more important part of municipal long-term planning and design strategies. Accumulating evidence demonstrating the myriad of environmental and aesthetic of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) has given rise to programs that offer sustainability guidelines such as the sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) guidelines. SITES encourages resilient landscapes that are designed to: maximize ecosystem service benefits, be monitored for benefits or lack thereof, provide educational opportunities, and improve human health and well-being. In using these wholistic guidelines on a range of projects at multiple scales, municipalities may develop resilient and responsive sustainable landscape practices, in which the ecological management of stormwater plays a critical role. This master's project proposes that the University of Massachusetts Amherst pilot an ecosystem-service based green stormwater infrastructure demonstration site and educational platform in front of the Fine Arts Center, utilizing the SITES guidelines to explore monitoring methods that could provide useful data for future campus GSI planning initiatives.
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2016-05-01
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