Green infrastructure performance in arid and semi-arid urban environments

Sara Meerow, Mukunth Natarajan, David Krantz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Urbanization can negatively affect residents’ health and wellbeing. Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) is increasingly advocated as a win-win strategy for addressing multiple urban problems. Literature quantifying GSI benefits is growing, but it is unclear how it performs in arid and semi-arid cities. This study, co-designed with practitioner partners in Phoenix, Arizona, evaluates the current state of knowledge on GSI performance with respect to hydrologic, water quality, urban heat, and air quality benefits. Our systematic literature review confirms a lack of research quantifying GSI performance in arid and semi-arid cities. Our findings, which we summarize in the paper and present in a searchable, online database, suggest that GSI is beneficial in mitigating runoff, urban heat, and air pollution in the surrounding area to some degree. Results for water quality are more mixed. This points to the need for more GSI monitoring and research, especially of air and water quality benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-285
Number of pages11
JournalUrban Water Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Green infrastructure
  • air quality
  • arid climates
  • stormwater
  • urban heat
  • water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology


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