Green Stormwater Infrastructure for Community Well-Being and Environmental Justice

Science on Tap
Monday, February 14, 2022
6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. EST (UTC -5)

This month’s virtual Science on Tap discussion features Alexis Schulman, Dolan Fellow for Innovation in Water Research at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

The Philadelphia Water Department is currently in the middle of a 25-year, billion-dollar infrastructure project that aims to protect the city’s rivers and streams from sewage pollution. Called “Green City, Clean Waters,” this initiative is groundbreaking in its unusual reliance on innovative “green stormwater infrastructure:” engineered soil and plant systems that reduce the amount of stormwater flowing into the city’s aging sewer system while providing numerous other benefits, including local cooling, air quality improvements, and stress reduction. In February’s virtual Science on Tap, Alexis Schulman will discuss Philadelphia’s pollution prevention project and how it might be leveraged to provide community benefits to neighborhoods suffering from chronic underinvestment and cumulative environmental hazards.


Alexis Schulman headshot

Alexis Schulman

About the Speaker

Alexis Schulman is the Dolan Fellow for Innovation in Water Research at the Academy of Natural Sciences Patrick Center for Environmental Research, and assistant research professor in Drexel University’s biodiversity, earth, and environmental sciences department. An environmental planner and social scientist, she is interested in understanding what drives green, resilient innovation in urban infrastructure, policy, and planning. Much of her work starts from the question, “Why do some communities and governments choose to embrace more sustainable practices, and how do those practices become entrenched as the new status quo?”

Schulman’s research has focused on the adoption of green stormwater infrastructure in U.S. cities, the use of local ecological knowledge in natural resource management science, and the promises and pitfalls of adaptive management programs. She received her PhD in urban and regional planning and master’s in city planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds a BSE in environmental engineering from Princeton University.

About the Series

Our Science on Tap monthly speaker series is now online! This monthly gathering features brief, informal presentations by Philadelphia-based scientists and other experts followed by lively conversation and a Q&A. The goal is to promote enthusiasm for science in a fun, spirited, and accessible way, while also meeting new people. Come join the conversation!