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The River City and Wet Weather Management

Posted by Kathie Brown -

During fall semester, students and faculty have worked closely with University of Illinois Extension and City of Peoria's Innovation Team to address combined sewer overflow problems. Peoria's sewers carry both sanitary wastewater and stormwater. When rain or snowmelt overwhelm the system, around 20 to 30 times a year, the combined sewers overflow into the Illinois River.

Peoria is working to identify ways to leverage the tremendous expense of solving the CSO problem while simultaneously improving the lives of residents in these areas through such means as job creation, sustainable development and reinvestment.

Professor Danika Cooper says proposals include South Side bicycle networks and parkland that captures rainwater while giving residents new greenspace: "Solutions that not only deal with flooding and overflow issues, but also kind of address some of the economic and social structure of this neighborhood."

Highlighting the intersection of ecological and economic factors in the region, the intention of the studio's work is to demonstrate how the deployment of ecological strategies at large scales can lead to tactical design moves and interventions at smaller scales.

"Working with the City of Peoria and University of Illinois Extension was an incredibly valuable experience for the students and I can already tell that their work was fundamentally improved by our visit and your valuable presence/input." Professor Danika Cooper.

This UIUC College of Fine and Applied Arts project focuses on working withcommunity partners to examine the relationship between health, design, and the built environment in the Peoria region. This project is part of the Cross Campus Initiative "Designing Healthy Communities " and is funded through the Office of the Provost and College of ACES Illinois Extension and Outreach Initiative.

For more information about University of Illinois Extension programs in Community & Economic Development programs in the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Extension unit contact Kathleen Brown, Community & Economic Development Educator, at brownlk@illinois.edu .



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