Atlanta to Receive Funding to Address Flooding, Improve Combined Sewer System

During Atlanta’s 17th annual Parks and Greenspace Conference, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms today announced that the city will be the first municipality in the country to be awarded a publicly-offered Environmental Impact Bond (EIB) for green infrastructure projects. Through a creative-financing opportunity won by the Department of Watershed Management (DWM), funding will support the improvement of resilience projects in Westside neighborhoods prone to flooding. Supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the city will work with the impact investment advisory firm Quantified Ventures to coordinate and structure the deal, and Neighborly, to market and underwrite the finances.

“This funding will give the city access to financing for innovative green infrastructure projects,” said Mayor Bottoms. “My administration will fully maximize the community and economic benefits of this investment to help restore pride in the Proctor Creek Watershed for Westside neighborhoods.”

Eight green infrastructure projects were proposed for funding at an estimated cost of $12.9 million. Projects will impact communities in the Proctor Creek watershed area located on Atlanta’s westside, which includes, Vine City, English Avenue, Mozley Park, Grove Park and the Bankhead/Hollowell corridor.

“We are proud to have been selected for this opportunity,” said Commissioner Kishia Powell, Atlanta Department of Watershed Management. “Utilities nationwide are all searching for innovative ways to acquire creative financing, and these projects will successfully demonstrate how community partners working together can advance green infrastructure for our communities.”

Each infrastructure project was developed to help improve wastewater and stormwater management and reduce the strain on the combined sewer system by constructing bioretention basins, stormwater planters, bump-outs and permeable pavement systems. Ultimately, incorporating the natural environment into engineered systems to capture and absorb stormwater into soil and vegetation, is a more cost-effective approach than traditional grey infrastructure. It also provides environmental, economic and health benefits to local communities by creating more green space in urban settings.

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