Sherrie Dunlap Gallagher: Green Infrastructure for Storm Water Management

“There is no development that is for us, that is not led by us.” This poster hangs in the Operation Better Block Office

 

I have been learning so much about the vibrant community of Homewood. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with staff members at Operation Better Block and to learn of all of their sustainability initiatives, especially with the youth of the community. In these meetings, we are learning how to best use our people and resources to amplify and support the work being done in Homewood. In partnering with OBB and learning of the most pressing needs and interests of the community, our team is able to get hands on experience and research on sustainability topics. As the Project Manager, I’ve been learning a lot about each focus area of this grant, work on grant reporting, and started this blog. My interests lie in seeing if public-private partnerships can be a useful and viable funding model for making green infrastructure and storm water management improvements to help in the resilience and sustainability of communities like Homewood. Storm water management is a pressing issue in the City of Pittsburgh, which has been visible this summer with the regular storms and flooding. The City of Pittsburgh has a combined sewer and storm water system that is outdated and stressed, and there has been much in the media about the City looking to update, change, and improve the current system. However, how water is managed, who owns and manages water systems, and who pays for the improvements, is on the minds of community members and the government. I’ve been researching different funding models and examples from other cities and states on best practices. I am also hoping to learn more about the local government structure, and what is the pathway for community agencies and individuals to work with the City to implement their own green infrastructure.

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