Community and Regional Planning Program


Date of this Version

Summer 5-15-2014


Zhou, Y., 2014. Volunteered Geographical Information: an Alternative Solution for Overcoming the Chasm Between Stormwater Management and Community Participation. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Community and Regional Planning, Major: Community and Regional Planning, Under the Supervision of Professor Zhenghong Tang. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Yanfu Zhou


It is a dramatic challenge to promote public engagement in stormwater management and green infrastructure initiatives. When traditional outreach approaches made important influence on public engagement, their limitations are also obvious. With the development of Web 2.0 technology, Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) has been emerging as one of the most important user-generated geographic contents. The crowdsourcing data that generated by volunteers through geo-web, smartphones, and other geo-devices provides invaluable mass data for decision-making. VGI can provide a better understanding of planning issues and other challenges. The research aims to develop a mobile information platform to allow citizens to report the information of the green infrastructure sites and activities through their mobile devices. This study shares the experiences and lessons of the “U.S. Green Infrastructure Reporter” in national grassroots engagement of stormwater management and green infrastructure initiatives. “U.S. Green Infrastructure reports” in this study has collected over 6,800 reports of 11 types of Green Infrastructure across the U.S. The findings can help investigate both the potential of VGI in urban water management and its challenges regarding to data reliability and quality. We conclude with recommendations for future development of the advancing technology of VGI in enhancing water resources planning capabilities and future research directions.

Advisor: Zhenghong Tang