Exploring Possibilities for Expanding Sustainable Infrastructure in Largo

In addition to my efforts working with fuel consumption, I have also been researching the Envision rating system for sustainable infrastructure and working to understand how The City of Largo might be able to incorporate the system into its infrastructure development and management. The primary focus for this was streets and stormwater infrastructure. The Envision system guides the design and development of infrastructure projects to produce triple bottom line sustainability benefits. Projects are encouraged to make in-depth considerations for the social wellbeing of the surrounding community, possible risks and vulnerabilities brought on by changing conditions, impacts on ecosystems and natural resources, and the life cycle impacts of materials and resources used during construction and operation.
As someone who was relatively unfamiliar with the extent of what the public works department actually did with regard to streets and stormwater, I soon found that the Envision system was somewhat difficult to apply to the aspects of infrastructure management that the department was involved with. The Envision system is designed to be used primarily during the design and construction phases of infrastructure projects, while the public works department is involve mainly with smaller scale reactive and preventative maintenance activities rather than design or construction. Despite this, I still wanted to come up with some sustainable infrastructure ideas that the city could consider employing in the future. As part of this process, I researched a number of green infrastructure features for stormwater management including bioswales, bioretention areas, and permeable pavements, which became part of my recommendation for how the city might begin to develop more sustainable infrastructure.
Permeable pavements like the ones seen here can help urban areas to mimic the natural hydrology the area by reducing runoff and allowing water to filter into the groundwater table.

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