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Urban Stormwater Management in the United States
ment and redevelopment are therefore important considerations when studying local receiving water problems, the sources of these problems within the watershed, and the stormwater control opportunities.
Although there can be many classifications of residential land use, a crude and common categorization is to differentiate by density. High-density residential land use refers to urban single-family housing at a density of greater than 6 units per acre, including the house, driveway, yards, sidewalks, and streets. Medium density is between 2 and 6 units per acre, while low density refers to areas where the density is 0.7 to 2 units per acre. Another significant residential land use is multiple-family housing for three or more families and from one to three stories in height. These units may be adjoined up-and-down, side-by-side, or front-and-rear.
There are a variety of commercial land uses common in the United States. The strip commercial area includes those buildings for which the primary function is the sale of goods or services. This category includes some institutional lands found in commercial strips, such as post offices, court houses, and fire and police stations. This category does not include warehouses or buildings used for the manufacture of goods. Shopping centers are another common commercial area and have the unique distinction that the related parking lot that surrounds the buildings is at least 2.5 times the area of the building roof area. Office parks are a land use on which non-retail business takes place. The buildings are usually multi-storied and surrounded by larger areas of lawn and other landscaping. Finally, downtown central business districts are highly impervious areas of commercial and institutional land use.
Industrial areas can be differentiated by the intensity of the industry. For example, “manufacturing industrial” is a land use that encompasses those buildings and premises that are devoted to the manufacture of products, with many of the operations conducted outside, such as power plants, steel mills, and cement plants. Institutional areas include a variety of buildings, for example schools, churches, and hospitals and other medical facilities that provide patient overnight care.
Roads constitute a very important land use in terms of pollutant contributions. The “freeway” land use includes limited-access highways and the interchange areas, including any vegetated rights-of-ways. Finally, there are a variety of open-space categories, such as cemeteries, parks, and undeveloped land. Parks include outdoor recreational areas such as municipal playgrounds, botanical gardens, arboretums, golf courses, and natural areas. Undeveloped lands are private or publicly owned with no structures and have a complete vegetative cover. This includes vacant lots, transformer stations, radio and TV transmission areas, water towers, and railroad rights-of-way.
The preceding land-use descriptions are the traditional categories that make