Special Achievement in GIS Award

2017 SAG Award Winners

Richland County, SC, Planning Department

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Project Goal

Richland County was once known for its rich fields of indigo and cotton. Its central location in South Carolina made it an important center of government. Today, that unique past of fertile landscapes is giving way to growing cities. Like most places in the US, the county is striving to balance growth while protecting the natural, life-sustaining systems that enrich people's lives. And like many counties, resilience planning has become an issue of late. Extreme rain events, failing infrastructure, and flooding have become all too common. Exacerbating the problem is suburban sprawl. Growth has advanced into many areas that were once rural and is converting farms, wetlands and forests to other uses at an increasingly rapid rate, resulting in more impermeable surfaces and habitat fragmentation. The environmental damage and increased threats to life and property resulted in the formation of a team to formulate a green infrastructure plan.
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Business Problem Solved

The multi-disciplinary team consisting of members of Planning and Conservation personnel worked together to evaluate the impact that green infrastructure enhancements could have on improving air and water quality, storm water control, and habitat protection, all while lowering infrastructure costs and threats to property and human safety. The study has convinced the Planning Department of the need for Green Infrastructure policies. They are now investigating possible policy changes concerning subdivision of land, current and future land use, and comprehensive planning to find "greener" ways to develop.

Technology Implemented

ArcMap 10.2, ArcGIS Spatial Analyst, ArcGIS Online

Development Team Biography

Brenda L. Carter, GISP

Brenda has been the GIS Manager for the Planning and Development Services Department for 17 years. Prior to her employment with Richland County, she was a GIS Systems Analyst for 16 years in another county. Brenda supervises the GIS and Addressing staff in the Planning Department and worked with members of the Conservation Department and many other staff members to create this project.

Quinton Epps and his staff as well as members of the Planning and Development staff were essential to this project as well as many others.

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