Low Impact / Conservation Development - Iowa Stormwater Education Partnership

Low Impact / Conservation Development

Development Options

Low Impact Development or Environmental Site Design

Low Impact Development or (LID) is the incorporation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) that try to mimic historic hydrology. LID practices can be used in all developments and include such practices as detention, retention, construction wetlands, and infiltration-based practices such as bioretention, infiltration trenches, filters and other practices. The focus is on reducing the impacts on local streams and lakes by managing stormwater quality and quantity (flood).

Resources:
The Low Impact Development Center, Inc.
Urban Design Tools: low impact development
Center for Watershed Protection
Guide to Benefits of Green Infrastructure

Conservation Design

Conservation Design is a development method that reduces the impact on the site by minimizing site disturbance through grading, preserving some of the natural features of the landscape, clustering homes and providing open space for recreation that can also be used for storm water best management practices. Often, all storm water can be managed on-site using a combination of best management practices.
Enhancements to the site can also include native prairie and wetland restoration. This method is also used to blend the development into its undeveloped natural surroundings.

Resources:
Conservation Living

Smart Growth

Smart Growth is a method of development that focuses on the “big picture” of development within a city or region. It addresses transportation, multi-use housing, commercial, and industrial development along with water resource protection.

Resources:
Environmental Protection Agency
Smart Growth Online
Guide to Benefits of Green Infrastructure
Barriers and Gateways to Green Infrastructure

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