Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard

Photo: Eric Alix Rogers via Flickr Creative Commons

By managing stormwater on-site with plants, trees, and grasses, green infrastructure provides a suite of cost-effective ecological and quality of life benefits not associated with conventional stormwater infrastructure.

CNT’s Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard (GIPS) is a way for communities to cost-effectively scale up green infrastructure in developed urban areas, which can substantially reduce the volume of stormwater runoff and pollutants that enter the sewer system.

Working in areas with water quality or flooding problems, the GIPS program incorporates green infrastructure features in selected public and private projects to steadily reduce the stormwater that enters the sewer system over a period of several years. The annual goals are modest, typically aiming for a 1 to 2 percent reduction in the baseline runoff from the area. However, the cumulative effect over many years is a substantial decrease in runoff volume.

The GIPS program is specifically focused on increasing green infrastructure practices in urban areas that are unlikely to see new development or redevelopment in the near future.  These areas make up the vast majority of the urban landscape, and without a retrofit program like the one outlined in the GIPS, the stormwater problems in these areas will continue to get worse over time.