the bioretention area on Fox road

Advancing Use of Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Bringing more green, eco-friendly features to Raleigh that help protect waterways

We are taking steps to bring more green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) to Raleigh. This will help reduce water pollution to our streams and lakes.

The goal is to use more 'green' features that mimic nature and absorb pollution from impervious surfaces, like roofs and driveways, when it rains. Examples include rain gardens/bioretention areas, cisterns, permeable pavement and more. 

Here's an overview of the six items we'll focus on to advance how we (and the community) can use this type of infrastructure in land development. 

Read the plan

Action Items

1. Lead by Example

Create policy that encourages the use of more green stormwater infrastructure with City projects in a cost-effective way.

  • Ensure we are doing our part to reduce water pollution;
  • Help people understand the benefits of these projects; and,
  • Encourage others to use green stormwater infrastructure on private development. 

2. Support and Incentivize Private Developers

A City employee will serve as a GSI advocate to coordinate with private developers. Together they will explore different incentives for using green stormwater infrastructure with land development.


The development community will use more of these practices with their projects. 

3. Include GSI in Rezoning Decisions

Provide applicants with examples of where GSI can be used in rezoning decisions.


City staff will be more involved with rezoning cases to:

  • Streamline the process; and,  
  • Show you how green stormwater infrastructure can be included in these development projects. 

4. Include GSI in City’s Planning Reports

Form a City workgroup that will determine how we can include GSI in long-range plans, like road improvements, parks development, and neighborhood planning. 

5. Propose Regulation Changes to Support GSI

A stakeholder group will: 

  • Explore additional incentives for those who use GSI on development projects; and, 
  • Work with City staff to propose additional text changes in the Unified Development Ordinance to support the use of green stormwater infrastructure with development projects. 

6. Build a Program for Maintaining City-owned GSI

Use funding and management tools to help maintain City-owned GSI projects in a functional way. 


In August 2019, City Council requested the Stormwater Management Advisory Commission help develop a GSI plan. 

The Commission and City staff worked together to develop the plan, which was approved in July 2021. Other statewide partners include the North Carolina  Coastal Federation with support from the The Pew Charitable Trust. 



Kevin Boyer
Water Quality Supervisor 

Engineering Services
Service Categories:
Board, Commission or Committee:
Stormwater Management Advisory Commission
Related Services:
Green Stormwater Infrastructure