Graduation Date

Spring 2018

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Social Science, Environment and Community

Committee Chair Name

Yvonne Everett

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Laurie Richmond

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

John Meyer

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Environment and Community


In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found the City of Philadelphia to be in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 due to insufficient stormwater infrastructure. In 2011, Philadelphia initiated a 25-year, citywide plan called Green City, Clean Waters to reduce stormwater runoff by implementing green stormwater infrastructure (GSI). The plan promised significant community involvement in the process. I conducted semi-structured interviews with City employees and individuals in the community that have partnered with the City to administer GSI and participant observation of community meetings and used them to explore different neighborhoods’ experiences with Green City, Clean Waters and the work that the City is doing to connect with the community. I then created an analytical framework to address resilience, reconnecting society and nature, sustainable urban governance and planning, social justice in urban redevelopment, community trust in government, collaboration, and stormwater management and sea level rise to evaluate Green City, Clean Waters’ prioritization of community involvement and greater citywide sustainability. Philadelphia has been surpassing its goals for reducing stormwater runoff and increasing GSI, but to achieve its long-term goals for Green City, Clean Waters, it will need help from the community. Recommendations I make for Green City, Clean Waters going forward include: dynamic public outreach; upgrading methods of communication with the community; community group networking; connecting with peer organizations; self-evaluation of progress; large-scale habitat restoration; and building momentum for citywide sustainability.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location