Texas A&M University
Majority of the global population now resides in urban areas, and migration into these areas is projected to accelerate in the decades to come. Urbanization has attracted more people to cities, contributing to increased development in urban environments. Impervious surfaces such as pavement, sidewalks, and parking lots, are a staple feature of continued development, and they prevent infiltration and lead to increased runoff volumes. Urban runoff intensifies flooding while collecting and transporting contaminants into streams. Green infrastructure, an alternative to typical gray infrastructure practices, refers to urban green spaces that allow infiltration into the soil and includes rain gardens, bioretention areas, green roofs, green walls, bioswales, and street trees. One of the main components of green infrastructure is vegetation, which captures pollutants and decreases runoff velocities. These nature-based solutions have a multitude of environmental, economic, and social benefits. This case study presents the environmental and social effects of green infrastructure through the design and construction of a bioretention area placed in a newly built park in a low resource community. The study region is 5-mile Creek, located in the south Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, Texas. The performance of the bioretention area is analyzed through the measurement of runoff volume reduction and pollutant retention. To measure the social effects, surrounding residents are surveyed pre-construction, during construction, and post-construction for their stress, happiness, and social interaction levels as well as their perception of the bioretention area. This study gauges public perception for future green infrastructure projects and potential community involvement.