Document Type


Publication Date


Research Center

Center for Economic Development


The Center for Economic Development (the Center) at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University prepared this report for LAND studio. The objective of this report is to present an economic impact of the green infrastructure maintenance of the future green infrastructure investments that the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) will undertake. LAND studio will use this study as a component to a broader study of best practices in green infrastructure maintenance, the needs of the sector, and to develop a foundation for the creation of a green infrastructure maintenance education and workforce training program.

The report contains two sections: the first section includes the creation of the green infrastructure maintenance estimates, and the second details the economic impact of the green infrastructure maintenance estimates. The Center’s estimates of the green infrastructure maintenance are of a five year period (2020-2024) for the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). In the next section, the Center estimates the economic impact of this industry using the IMPLAN software.

Traditional storm water management, also known as grey infrastructure, uses a network of sewers and pipes to collect and treat sewage and storm water so that it may be returned as clean water. Green infrastructure, on the other hand, is an environmentally friendly waste water cleaning technique that uses vegetation and soil to manage rainwater. Green infrastructure, also known as Best Management Practices (BMP) and Low Impact Development (LID), can take many forms. The green infrastructure that this report examines is that of bioretention ponds, defined as vegetated areas that are planted with native plants to collect and treat water runoff.

It is not only the implementation and construction of green infrastructure that is important to consider, but it is also key to examine the maintenance and upkeep of these areas. It has been suggested that green infrastructure maintenance can create jobs in many cities since the maintenance of green infrastructure requires more manual labor and less heavy equipment than traditional storm water facilities.