ELGL’s Best of Water
Justifying Green Stormwater Design for St Paul
St. Paul , MN , United States
At a Glance: City of St. Paul had the opportunity to redevelop a vacant 135-acre Ford Motor Co. campus that included a riverfront area abutting Hidden Falls Regional Park. However the current site lacked stormwater management transportation options to support its use by the community. Because of its prominent location, Mayor Chris Coleman urged the city staff to study and replicate the best practices for a “21st century community.” Development plans have been informed by community input and enhanced by triple bottom line cost analysis.
The challenges this project addresses are: Stormwater Management, Redevelopment & Brownfields, Transparency, Water Quality, Air Quality, Health, Noise
Barr Engineer was tasked with designing space and aimed to incorporate a central stormwater feature running from north to south culminating in a pond at the south end that would be used for winter skating and a connection to Hidden Falls Regional Park, with a series of interesting and attractive spaces for the community. In order to determine the specific investment decisions, Barr Engineering worked with a 25-member community task force and held 34 community meetings and therefore needed an easy way to communicate the range of options in terms of both costs and benefits.
St. Paul used/is using automated triple bottom line analysis to enhance community engagement and inform investment decisions to address this/these challenge(s).
To help community members understand the range of options available, Barr engineering used Autocase to provide automated triple bottom line (TBL) cost benefit analysis (CBA) to communicate the total value of a potentially higher capital cost greener design against a baseline project. For each design, Autocase helped Barr quantify lifecycle costs, the social and environmental impacts, and the dollar value of those impacts in terms of water quality, water quantity, flood risk reduction, recreation value property value uplift, heat island mitigation, health and safety criteria air contaminant, as well as other location-specific considerations.
Local Government Champion: St. Paul Planning
Something Unique: The comprehensive green infrastructure design exceeded the benefits of the Baseline design by $12.6 million while increasing the costs by only $4.7 million, more than doubling the benefit-to-cost ratio.
Who should consider? Cities with specific parcels prioritized for redevelopment and want to ensure investment decisions maximize value for community members.