Philadelphia’s “Green City, Clean Waters” program is the first of five 2012 U.S. Water Prize Winners profiled in this webinar series. Sponsored and administered by the U.S. Water Alliance, the United States Water Prize Program is a celebration of sustainable solutions that advance holistic, watershed-based approaches to water quality and quantity challenges.
Philadelphia’s “Green City, Clean Waters” program has been heralded as a unique and innovative approach to addressing Clean Water Act permit obligations while making strategic investments in community and economic development. The $2.4 Billion, 25-year program involves managing stormwater from more than a third of the City’s impervious surfaces, primarily through investments in green stormwater infrastructure. Engineered greening at this scale provides an opportunity for many changes and enhancements to the city’s existing built environment and has the potential to transform much of Philadelphia. As the City agency held responsible for meeting Clean Water Act permit requirements, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) must employ creative strategies to work with multiple City agencies and private customers to leverage opportunities to implement the program. To ensure the long-term success of “Green City, Clean Waters,” multiple implementation mechanisms have been created or are in design, including strong development regulations, stormwater billing and crediting, grants and low interest loans, and direct public investments in green stormwater infrastructure.
Attendees to this webinar earn one Professional Development Hour!
Glen J. Abrams, AICP
Manager, Strategic Policy and Coordination
Philadelphia Water Department, Office of Watersheds
Mr. Abrams serves as Manager for Strategic Policy and Coordination for the Philadelphia Water Department’s Office of Watersheds, where he leads efforts to link PWD’s programs and policies with those of other City departments, state and federal agencies, and nonprofit partners. In addition, his team is actively reviewing policies, codes, and programmatic functions and making recommendations for changes to ensure the success of Philadelphia’s innovative Combined Sewer Overflow Long-Term Control Plan, “Green City, Clean Waters.”
Mr. Abrams has worked in the Office of Watersheds for over ten years and was instrumental in the early demonstration projects and partnerships that established many of the green stormwater infrastructure initiatives that are now the cornerstone of the “Green City, Clean Waters” plan.
Mr. Abrams is recognized as a certified planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a graduate in City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University. He is a frequent speaker on water resources planning and green infrastructure and has presented for the American Planning Association, American Society of Landscape Architects, American Rivers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, in addition to many other organizations.