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Low Impact Development
LID case study database

SEMCOG has developed an online Low Impact Development database to help communities identify LID practices throughout the state. This easy-to-use database can provide information related to all LID practices within a community, a county, neighboring communities, the region, or the State.

The database was designed to go hand-in-hand with the Low Impact Development Manual for Michigan: A Design Guide for Implementers and Reviewers and currently includes all of the case studies represented in the manual. However, the database can also store additional information and serve as a centralized location for all LID projects throughout Michigan.

The LID database can be used in two ways: as a search for entered projects or as place to capture your project information in a centralized location. This online database has the ability to capture detailed information about projects including construction and annual maintenance costs, design specifications, and multiple photos of the project, and produce colorful reports that can be saved, printed, or e-mailed as PDFs.

Statewide LID Manual
Manual_CoverSEMCOG has led the effort to develop a LID manual for the State of Michigan with the assistance and input of a dedicated group of agencies and professionals throughout Michigan who have expertise in low impact development.The manual, titled Low Impact Development Manual for Michigan: A Design Guide for Implementers and Reviewers(PDF, 21.27 MB), has been completed and includes approximately 500 pages of technical and policy guidance in implementing LID specific to Michigan conditions. Individual chapters, as well as supplemental documents and reference guides are available for individual download.

In addition to the manual, SEMCOG has led the development of a series of brochures and implementation workshops held across the state. 

BioretentionFrom a stormwater management perspective, Low Impact Development (LID) uses the basic principle that is modeled after nature: manage rainfall at the source using uniformly distributed, decentralized micro-scale controls. LID's goal is to mimic a site's predevelopment hydrology by using design techniques that infiltrate, filter, store, evaporate, and detain runoff close to its source. Techniques are based on the premise that stormwater management should not be stormwater disposal. Instead of conveying and managing / treating stormwater in large, costly, end-of-pipe facilities located at the bottom of drainage areas, LID addresses stormwater through small, cost-effective landscape features located at the lot level.

Almost all components of the urban environment have the potential to serve as an integrated management practice. This includes open space, as well as rooftops, streetscapes, parking lots, sidewalks, and medians. LID is a versatile   approach that can be applied equally well to new development, urban redevelopment, and along transportation corridors.

The Benefits of LID
The benefits of LID go well beyond stormwater management. Incorporating LID protects community character, restores urban fisheries, assists in meeting regulatory obligations, protects sensitive habitat, and integrates into a local greenways initiative.

LID Tools
SEMCOG and many member governments have been active in LID and have formed the Southeast Michigan LID team. The Southeast Michigan LID team offers a venue for those interested in implementing LID to learn from each other. The LID team has also sponsored workshops, implemented LID in their communities, and was integral in receiving funding for development of a Statewide LID Manual.

LID Examples
Like any perennial garden, rain gardens have an infinite range of possible designs depending on individual preferences, location, soils, slope, and light. Washtenaw County has created a Rain Garden Virtual Tour Web site where rain gardens can be visited online with a simple click to view photos, designs, and plant information.

An interactive mapping Web site has been created by Lawrence Technological University that showcases many LID examples throughout the Southeast Michigan region. This new Web site is currently a prototype for LID case studies and will be expanded in the near future.