InSight Schedule Change!
Insight is beginning bi-monthly publication. Look for your next issue of InSight in April.
If you have comments or suggestions about what you would like to see in upcoming issues, let us know.
When it Rains It Pours
After so many months of little or no rainfall across our state and region, this week’s rain came as a welcome relief. The rainy conditions were kind of dreary and caused some traffic problems, but it was hard to find anybody complaining. Although we are certainly not out of the dry spell and several of the region’s reservoirs are still significantly under their conservation pool levels, the amount and intensity of this week’s precipitation caused localized flooding and runoff problems in many places. The week provided a reminder to us all about the way that effective local governments keep the full range of water conditions in mind as they serve their communities, from “dry as a bone” to “frog stranglers”.
It can be a challenge to keep a floodplain management program going when a drought of historic proportions is going on. [more]
Principles in Action Series: The Better Block Project in Dallas
This is the seventh in a series of articles highlighting the recipients of the 2011 Celebrating Leadership in Development Excellence (CLIDE) Awards Program. Held every two years, the CLIDE Awards Program recognizes programs and projects that exemplify NCTCOG’s Principles of Development Excellence. The Better Block Project in Dallas was a recipient in the category of Raising Public Awareness. Award recipients are BetterBlock.org, Go Oak Cliff, City of Dallas, and Andrew Howard Transportation Planning.
The "Better Block" project is a demonstration tool that acts as a living charrette by actively engaging communities in the "complete streets" build out process while providing feedback in real time. In April of 2010, BetterBlock.org organized the first “Better Block” project, where they identified a blighted block in Dallas and revisioned it into an active, viable destination. "Better Blocks" accomplishes this by focusing on increasing an area’s perception of safety, stimulating economic activity in blighted or vacant corridors, while implementing "Complete Streets". The project took place over two days, involved multiple businesses, residents, and non-profit organizations, and lead to a complete new model for cities to utilize when looking to revive neighborhoods and communities. [more]
The iTools page on the integrated Stormwater Management (iSWM™) website has been expanded and updated. The page now contains presentations, training materials, and case studies of projects in the region that have used iSWM criteria and technical information in the design of the stormwater controls and infrastructure.
The training materials include the handouts and presentations from the iSWM Water Quality Training and iSWM Program Implementation Training classes held last fall. The training materials from the classes have been adapted for use on the internet, with answers provided to the class exercises.
The iSWM case studies provide project information including photographs, an overall project description, key iSWM features included in the project design, drawings and technical information when available, and contacts with the design firm, project owner, and/or city. The case studies include a larger commercial project, a soccer complex, a new road project, and a LEED green building. [more]
Stormwater Public Education & Outreach
Drainage Programs Coordinator
City of Irving
One of the fundamental requirements of the state’s stormwater permit is also one of the most difficult: public education and outreach. Tasked with educating and causing behavior change in people that don’t even KNOW that their behavior is suspect and under scrutiny, our stormwater management plans are faced with a number of challenges.
The topic covers a vast area and unknown to most individuals. Stormwater public education and outreach has a lot of ground to cover (pardon the pun even under drought conditions). Basically it all comes down to how we handle the wastes from human activities such as household, business and industrial trash, construction, but includes how we take care of our yards, our cars, our pets, and byproducts of cooking and even our leisure and entertainment activities: things that people don’t even perceive as a problem. But because it touches on some aspect of everything we do, we have a platform to work from in almost any setting. This is challenging, yes, but it’s also an opportunity.
The topic applies to numerous target audiences. A vast topic leads to a vast audience. We must outreach to children, adults, working people, retired people, people on vacation and just visiting.
What's Going on In and Around the Region