Urban areas require stormwater management. Recently there has been a movement towards more nature-based, green infrastructure approaches for managing stormwater. These systems have also demonstrated additional ecosystem benefits much needed in urban areas. At the same time, decades of research support the need for access to nature for healthy childhood development. Designing and locating nature-based stormwater systems where children frequent renders systems as multi-functional spaces, providing synergetic opportunities, which benefit individuals and communities. Challenges to integrating these spaces include safety, cost, and management, all of which can be overcome by smart and appropriate design. Such design requires collaboration between different skillsets and stakeholders through some minimal, but essential changes in the consultation and design process. Ultimately, integrating nature-based stormwater practices into children's outdoor spaces will provide economic, environmental, and social benefits to urban areas.

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Author notes


Stormwater Solutions Engineering, LLC


Associate Professor, North Carolina State University Department of Landscape Architecture, andrew_fox@ncsu.edu, corresponding author