Category: Student Competition
The successful revitalization of urban centers depends on the consideration of both community needs and sustainability goals in planning decisions. The Buffalo Sewer Authority (BSA) plans to incorporate green infrastructure (GI) into urban planning projects as part of an initiative to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs) while enhancing the urban landscape. The Stormwater Management Model (SWMM) is commonly used to simulate the addition of GI projects in urban areas and their impacts on stormwater management objectives. However, few tools exist that support the multi-objective optimization of GI projects in SWMM models. To address this need, the BSA and University at Buffalo are working together to develop a multi-objective SWMM optimization tool. This tool connects SWMM with an existing optimization program, the Optimization Software Toolkit for Research Involving Computational Heuristics (OSTRICH). The optimization tool, OSTRICH-SWMM, was applied in a case study regarding the placement of rain barrels in Buffalo catchments. This study shows how OSTRICH-SWMM could be used to add rain barrels to catchments in a SWMM model and find the optimal placement and sizing of rain barrels that minimizes the number of CSO events. In the future OSTRICH-SWMM will be used to optimize other types of GI within the Buffalo SWMM model and contribute to a broader decision support framework for urban land use, GI, and stormwater management.
Kristina Macro– MS Student, University at Buffalo