D.C. residents —€˜Green Up—€™

July 2012 » Features » PROJECT CASE STUDY
Map interface supports stormwater management projects
Jessica Wyland
TOP: Existing projects are mapped so users can identify other projects installed in the neighborhood.
BOTTOM: Interactive drawing tools allow users to design projects.

Stormwater runoff from Washington, D.C., carries contaminants such as tar, mercury, and herbicides downstream to nearby Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary. Now area residents can take an active role in protecting the bay’s health by using a new interactive Web mapping application, Green Up DC (http://greenup.dc.gov), provided by the District Department of the Environment (DDOE).

Project
Green Up DC, Washington, D.C.

Participants

District Department of the Environment
Critigen
CH2M HILL

Product application

Interactive Web map created with Esri ArcGIS helps residents reduce stormwater runoff from their properties.

Green Up DC offers Washington, D.C., residents tools to help reduce the amount of contaminants that enter the Chesapeake Bay. Residents and business owners may plan new stormwater management projects such as green roofs, pervious pavement, and rain barrels. They also can access information about financial subsidies and rebates, register installed projects, and view maps of other property owners’ projects.

“Many stormwater problems are the result of excessive runoff from hard, impervious surfaces such as roofs, sidewalks, and driveways,” said Jenny Guillaume, an environmental protection specialist with DDOE’s watershed protection division. “Anyone can visit the Green Up DC site to look at their own property and find out how to reduce stormwater.”

Green Up DC features an intuitive map-centric interface that was created with the Esri ArcGIS API for JavaScript and runs on the Web via Esri ArcGIS. Users can choose from 14 project types including green roofs, pervious pavement, and rain barrels. The site also offers energy conservation projects including solar electric, solar hot water, air sealing and insulation, hot water conservation, and duct sealing repair. A homeowner can simply type in an address, zoom to the property, and draw the location of energy conservation or stormwater projects using an aerial photo background as a guide. The Green Up DC application calculates project costs and benefits and provides a list of experienced local vendors who can install the project or quote a price. Registered users of Green Up DC can save planned projects or register projects that they have already installed.

Status dashboards display high-level program metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs).

“As with many other urbanized areas, the District has significant stormwater management challenges, including flooding and water quality issues from sediments and other contaminants,” said Bruce Taylor, a project manager with Esri Partner Critigen. “The Green Up application makes it easier for residential homeowners to take an active role in reducing stormwater runoff.”

Critigen, a technology consulting and IT outsourcing company, uses location data, business intelligence tools, and cloud computing in its work with public and private clients. Taylor and his team worked with the DDOE to design Green Up DC, which is based partly on Eco-Portals built for other clients. With its partner CH2M HILL, Critigen adapted a stormwater runoff model developed by the Center for Watershed Protection (www.cwp.org) so it could be used easily by people without any technical background. Critigen used landbase data, aerial photographs, and impervious surface information from the District’s ArcGIS for Server map services to display property characteristics and provide input data for the calculators.

Green Up DC maps both planned and registered projects and provides a program status dashboard and status reports that can be used to monitor the progress of the program. Home and business owners can access the status dashboard to see the anticipated impact of a particular project. DDOE officials will be able to verify how many projects are completed and add the data to reports for the city as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The reports include summaries listed by specific watershed, sewershed, or political jurisdiction.

“We hope to see more people implementing projects and sharing projects,” Guillaume said. “Green Up DC’s link to Facebook helps us tap into social media to spread the word. We would love this tool to help homeowners plan and complete their projects.”

Jessica Wyland is a writer for Esri (www.esri.com).


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