Roles for government and other sectors in the governance of green infrastructure in the U.S.

Elise Harrington, David Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper argues that government leadership both at the federal and local levels remains central to implementing green infrastructure for stormwater management. We conducted interviews with more than forty city, federal, and regional staff on how and why they work to implement green infrastructure, and interpreted the material using literature from environmental governance and water management. We found that government and non-governmental actors tend to act in different ways to support green infrastructure. Government actors at federal and local levels often take the lead role in driving green infrastructure via policy and political support, and coordinating measurement of green infrastructure practices, while non-governmental actors lead in information sharing. We also found that government and non-governmental actors work together to build local capacity by providing resources to support local collaboration and partnerships. We conclude by highlighting key areas of collaboration between government and non-governmental actors to enhance the implementation of green infrastructure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-115
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
StatePublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program under Assistance Agreement No. EPA-G2012-STAR-G1 to the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It has not been formally reviewed by the EPA. The views expressed in this document are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Agency. EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned in this publication. We thank all of the interviewees for taking the time to share their insights.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Adaptive governance
  • Environmental governance
  • Green infrastructure
  • Policy process
  • Regulation
  • Stormwater

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