"Low Impact Development” (LID) has become a key topic for engineers, planners, and architects who are faced with increasing environmental restrictions. The challenge for them is to minimize the impact we have on the ecosystem while at the same time create alluring, safe, and resilient infrastructure.
But what exactly is LID and how can this help mitigate environmental consequences?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the term LID refers to practices that mimic the natural movement and drainage of water to manage stormwater in order to protect water quality and aquatic habitat.
One such practice of LID is installing permeable paving, which retains and soaks in rainwater into the ground rather than allowing it to run off into ditches and drainage systems, where it would contribute to flooding and pollution problems. As a result, permeable paving helps reduce the human footprint by working with nature to manage stormwater as a resource rather than a waste.
As our community grows however, so does the areas which are covered by impervious parking lots, roads, and rooftops which does not allow rain to soak through. To tackle this issue, a number of green projects are currently underway such as the concept of Sponge City. Sneha Sinha of Insights Success mentions that "a Sponge City is a specially designed city that absorbs, cleans and uses rainwater in a natural and ecologically friendly way thus reducing runoffs.”