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Green infrastructure or blue-green infrastructure refers to a network that provides the “ingredients” for solving urban and climatic challenges by building with nature.Hiltrud Pötz & Pierre Bleuze (2011). Urban green-blue grids for sustainable and dynamic cities. Delft: Coop for life. . The main components of this approach include
stormwater entering a storm drain Stormwater, also spelled storm water, is water that originates from rain, including snow and ice melt. Stormwater can soak into the soil (infiltrate), be stored on the land surface in ponds and puddles, evaporate, or contr ...
management,
climate adaptation Climate change adaptation is the process of adjusting to current or expected climate change and its effects. It is one of the ways to respond to climate change, along with climate change mitigation. For humans, adaptation aims to moderate or avoid ...
, the reduction of
heat stress Hyperthermia, also known simply as overheating, is a condition where an individual's body temperature is elevated beyond normal due to failed thermoregulation. The person's body produces or absorbs more heat In thermodynamics, heat is ...
, increasing
biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near t ...
,
food production The food industry is a complex, global network of diverse business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling Product (business), products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it ...
, better
air quality Air pollution is the presence of substances in the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning 'vapour', and σφαῖρα ''(sphaira)'', meaning 'ball' or 'sphere') is a layer or a set of layers of gas ...
,
sustainable energy The use of energy is considered sustainable if it meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. Definitions of sustainable energy include environmental aspects such as greenhouse gas emissions, and social ...
production, clean water, and healthy soils, as well as more
anthropocentric Anthropocentrism (; from grc, ἄνθρωπος, ''ánthrōpos'', "human being"; and grc, κέντρον, ''kéntron'', "center") is the belief that human beings are the most important entity in the universe The universe ( la, universus) ...
functions, such as increased
quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public heal ...

quality of life
through recreation and the provision of shade and shelter in and around towns and cities. Green infrastructure also serves to provide an ecological framework for social, economic, and environmental health of the surroundings. Green infrastructure is considered a subset of "Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure", which is defined in standards such as
SuRe Sure may refer to: * Seemingly unrelated regressions * Series of Unsurprising Results in Economics (SURE), an economics academic journal * Sure, as probability, see certainty * Sure (brand), a brand of antiperspirant deodorant * Sure (company), a ...
, the Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure. However, green infrastructure can also mean "low-carbon infrastructure" such as renewable energy infrastructure and public transportation systems (See "low-carbon infrastructure"). Blue-green infrastructure can also be a component of "
sustainable drainage system Sustainable drainage systems (also known as SuDS,sustainable urban drainage systems Sustainable drainage systems (also known as SuDS,

Introduction


Green infrastructure

Nature Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and ...

Nature
can be used to provide important services for communities by protecting them against
flooding Flash flooding caused by heavy rain falling in a short amount of time. A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry. In the sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide ...

flooding
or excessive heat, or helping to improve
air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosphere (0.04402961% at April 2019 concentration ). Number ...
,
soil File:Stagnogley.JPG, Surface-water-Gley soil, gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland. Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that together support life. Earth's body of soil, called the pedosphere ...
and
water quality Water quality refers to the Chemical property, chemical, Physical property, physical, and Biology, biological characteristics of water based on the standards of its usage. It is most frequently used by reference to a set of standards against whic ...

water quality
. When nature is harnessed by people and used as an infrastructural system it is called “green infrastructure”.Benedict, Mark A. & McMahon, Edward T. (2006). Green Infrastructure: linking landscapes and communities Many such efforts take as their model prairies, where absorbant soil prevents runoff and vegetation filters out pollutants. Green infrastructure occurs at all scales. It is most often associated with green stormwater management systems, which are smart and cost-effective. However, green infrastructure is really a larger concept and is closely associated with a variety of other ideas. Green infrastructure also serves to provide an ecological framework for social, economic, and environmental health of the surroundings.


Blue infrastructure

"Blue infrastructure" refers to urban infrastructure relating to water. Blue infrastructure is commonly associated with green infrastructure in urban environments and may be referred to as "blue-green infrastructure" when being viewed in combination. Rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes may exist as natural features within cities, or be added to an urban environment as an aspect of its design. Coastal urban developments may also utilize pre-existing features of the coastline specifically employed in their design. Harbours, quays, piers, and other extensions of the urban environment are also often added to capture benefits associated with the marine environment. Blue infrastructure can support unique aquatic biodiversity in urban areas, including aquatic insects, amphibians, and water birds. There may considerable co-benefits to the health and wellbeing of populations with access to blue spaces in the urban context. Accessible blue infrastructure in urban areas is also referred as to blue spaces.


Benefits

Some people might expect that green spaces are extravagant and excessively difficult to maintain, but high-performing green spaces can provide tangible economic, ecological, and social benefits. For example: *
Urban forestry Urban forestry is the care and management of single trees and tree populations in Urban area, urban settings for the purpose of improving the urban environment. Urban forestry involves both planning and management, including the programming of ...
in an urban environment can supplement stormwater management and reduce associated energy usage costs and runoff. *
Bioretention A bioretention cell, also called a rain garden, in the United States. It is designed to treat polluted stormwater">United_States.html" ;"title="rain garden, in the United States">rain garden, in the United States. It is designed to treat polluted ...
systems can be applied to the creation of a green transportation system. As a result, high-performing green spaces work to create a balance between built and natural environments. A higher abundance of green space in communities or neighbourhoods, for example, has been observed to promote participation in physical activities among elderly men, while more green space around one's house is associated with improved
mental health Mental health is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community", accor ...

mental health
.


Economic effects

A 2012 study focusing on 479 green infrastructure projects across the United States found that 44% of green infrastructure projects reduced costs, compared to the 31% that increased the costs. The most notable cost savings were due to reduced
stormwater runoff Surface runoff (also known as overland flow) is the flow of water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which ...
and decreased
heating File:Pelletkessel in Wohnhaus.JPG, upHot water central heating unit, using wood as fuel A central heating system provides warmth to the number of spaces within a building and optionally also able to heat water heating, domestic hot water from one ...

heating
and
cooling Cooling is removal of heat, usually resulting in a lower temperature and/or phase change. Temperature lowering achieved by any other means may also be called cooling.ASHRAE Terminology, https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/free-resources/ashra ...

cooling
costs. Green infrastructure is often cheaper than other conventional water management strategies. The city of Philadelphia, for example, discovered that
new green infrastructure plan
would cost $1.2 billion over a 25-year period, compared to the $6 billion that would have been needed to finance a grey infrastructure plan.


Terminology

Ideas for green urban structures began in the 1870s with concepts of
urban farming Urban agriculture, urban farming, or urban gardening is the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around urban areas. Urban agriculture is also the term used for animal husbandry, aquaculture, urban beekeeping, and hor ...
and garden allotments. Alternative terminology includes stormwater best management practices, source controls, and low impact development (LID) practices. Green infrastructure concepts originated in mid-1980s proposals for best management practices that would achieve more holistic stormwater quantity management goals for runoff volume reduction, erosion prevention, and aquifer recharge. In 1987, amendments to the U.S.
Clean Water Act The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the primary federal law Federal law is the body of law created by the federal government of a country. A federal government is formed when a group of political units, such as states or provinces join together in a ...
introduced new provisions for management of diffuse pollutant sources from urban land uses, establishing the regulatory need for practices that unlike conventional drainage infrastructure managed runoff "at source." The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its initial regulations for municipal separate storm sewer systems ("MS4") in 1990, requiring large MS4s to develop stormwater pollution prevention plans and implement "source control practices". EPA's 1993 handbook, ''Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention and Control Planning'', identified best management practices to consider in such plans, including vegetative controls, filtration practices and infiltration practices (trenches, porous pavement). Regulations covering smaller municipalities were published in 1999. MS4s serve over 80% of the US population and provide drainage for 4% of the land area. Green infrastructure is a concept that highlights the importance of the natural environment in decisions about
land-use planning Land use planning is the process of regulating the use of land by a central authority. Usually, this is done to promote more desirable social and environmental outcomes as well as a more efficient use of resources. More specifically, the goals o ...
. However, the term does not have a widely recognized definition. Also known as “blue-green infrastructure”,http://www.ramboll.com/projects/viewproject?projectid=F73AC734-B657-48A0-AE92-0C8A85C8992A accessed: 10.04.13 or “green-blue urban grids” the terms are used by many design-, conservation- and planning-related disciplines and commonly feature stormwater management, climate adaptation and multifunctional green space. The term "green infrastructure" is sometimes expanded to "multifunctional" green infrastructure. Multifunctionality in this context refers to the integration and interaction of different functions or activities on the same piece of land. The EPA extended the concept of “green infrastructure” to apply to the management of
stormwater entering a storm drain Stormwater, also spelled storm water, is water that originates from rain, including snow and ice melt. Stormwater can soak into the soil (infiltrate), be stored on the land surface in ponds and puddles, evaporate, or contr ...
runoff at the local level through the use of natural systems, or engineered systems that mimic natural systems, to treat polluted
runoff Runoff, run-off or RUNOFF may refer to: * RUNOFF, the first computer text-formatting program * Runoff or run-off, another name for bleed (printing), bleed, printing that lies beyond the edges to which a printed sheet is trimmed * Runoff or run-off, ...
. This use of the term "green infrastructure" to refer to urban "green" best management practices contributes to the overall health of natural ecosystems, even though it is not central to the larger concept. However, it is apparent that the term “blue-green infrastructure” is applied in an urban context and places a greater emphasis on the management of stormwater as an integral part of creating a sustainable, multifunctional urban environment. At the building level, the term "blue-green architecture" is used, which implements the same principles on a smaller scale. The focus here is on building greening with water management from alternative water resources such as
grey water Grey water (spelling differences, also spelled gray water in the United States) or sullage refers to wastewater generated in households or office buildings from streams without fecal contamination, i.e., all streams except for the wastewater from ...
and rainwater.


The role of water: blue spaces and blue infrastructure

Proximity and access to water have been key factors in human settlement through history. Water, along with the spaces around it, create a potential for transport, trade, and power generation. They also provide the human population with resources like recreation and tourism in addition to drinking water and food. Many of the world's largest cities are located near water sources, and networks of urban "blue infrastructure", such as canals, harbors and so forth, have been constructed to capture the benefits and minimize risks. Globally, cities are facing severe water uncertainties such as floods, droughts, and upstream activities on trans-boundary rivers. The increasing pressure, intensity, and speed of urbanization has led to the disappearance of any visible form of water infrastructure in most cities. Urban coastal populations are growing, and many cities have seen an extensive post-industrial transformation of canals, riversides, docks, etc. following changes in global trading patterns. The potential implications of such waterside regeneration in terms of public health have only recently been scientifically investigated. A systematic review conducted in 2017 found consistent evidence of positive associations between exposure of people to blue space and mental health and physical activity. One-fifth of the world's population, 1.2 billion people, live in areas of
water scarcity Water scarcity (water stress or water crisis) is the lack of fresh water resources to meet the standard water demand. Humanity is facing a water crisis, due to unequal distribution (exacerbated by climate change Climate change inclu ...

water scarcity
. Climate change and water-related disasters will place increasing demands on urban systems and will result in increased migration to urban areas. Cities require a very large input of freshwater and in turn have a huge impact on freshwater systems. Urban and industrial water use is projected to double by 2050.https://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/swm_cities_zaragoza_2010/pdf/02_water_uncertainties.pdf. accessed: 09.04.13 In 2010 the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for har ...

United Nations
declared that access to clean water and sanitation is a human right. New solutions for improving the sustainability of cities are being explored. Good urban water management is complex and requires not only water and wastewater infrastructure, but also pollution control and flood prevention. It requires coordination across many sectors, and between different local authorities and changes in governance, that lead to more sustainable and equitable use of urban water resources.


Types of green infrastructure


Urban forests

Urban forest An urban forest is a forest A forest is an area of land dominated by trees. Hundreds of definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing and ecological f ...

Urban forest
s are forests located in cities. They are an important component of urban green infrastructure systems. Urban forests use appropriate tree and vegetation species, instead of noxious and invasive kinds, which reduce the need of maintenance and irrigation. In addition, native species also provide aesthetic value while reducing cost. Diversity of plant species should also be considered in design of urban forests to avoid monocultures; this makes the urban forests more durable and resilient to pests and other harms. ;Benefits *
Energy use Energy consumption is the amount of energy In physics, energy is the physical quantity, quantitative physical property, property that must be #Energy transfer, transferred to a physical body, body or physical system to perform Work (thermody ...

Energy use
: According to a study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Sacramento Municipal Utility District, it was found that strategically located shade trees planted around houses can provide up to 47% energy savings for heating and cooling. *
Urban heat island Image:Urban heat island.svg, 300px, Mechanism of the urban heat island effect An urban heat island (UHI) is an urban area or metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities. The temperat ...

Urban heat island
: Maximum air temperature for tree groves were found to be lower than that of open areas without trees. This is because of a process called evaporative cooling. *
Water management Water resource management is the activity of planning, developing, distributing and managing the optimum use of water resources. It is an aspect of water cycle management. Water is essential for our survival. The field of water resources manageme ...
: Urban forests helps with city water management on diverting storm water from water channels. Trees intercept a large amount of rainfall that hit them. *
Air pollution Air pollution is the presence of substances in the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning 'vapour', and σφαῖρα ''(sphaira)'', meaning 'ball' or 'sphere') is a layer or a set of layers of gas ...

Air pollution
: Trees hold carbon, which improves air quality in cities. * Property values: Having more trees increases property value, which suggests that people value greenery and trees wherever they are. This implies that trees contribute to the preferred living conditions of people. *
Public health Public health has been defined as "the science and art of Preventive healthcare, preventing disease", prolonging life and improving quality of life through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations (public and private), C ...

Public health
: Urban greenery can also improve mental health and well-being. * Creating urban forests affects public health in many ways. Urban heat islands are created by the condensation of heat due to the materials and infrastructure used in metropolitan areas, which can negatively impact human health. Urban forests provide natural shading structures at a fraction of the cost of artificial shading structures and it counters the negative health impacts of increasing global temperatures. Beyond countering the negative impacts of man-made infrastructure, green infrastructure has the potential to enhance existing ecosystems and make them more stable, which has been historically done in traditional Japanese agriculture. Green infrastructure in an urbanized area can help restore and enhance the resiliency of an ecosystem to natural disturbances and disasters that disrupt the lives of residents. Building new urban forests in an existing metropolitan area creates new labor jobs that do not require a high level of education, which can decrease unemployment in the working class which benefits society. Furthermore, green infrastructure helps states to implement the principles of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development that was designed to alleviate the social and economic consequences of environmental degradation.


Constructed wetlands

Constructed wetland A constructed wetland (CW) is an artificial wetland to treat municipal or industrial wastewater, greywater or stormwater entering a storm drain Stormwater, also spelled storm water, is water that originates from rain, including snow and ice ...
s are manmade
wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently (for years or decades) or seasonally (for weeks or months). Flooding results in oxygen-free (Anoxic waters, anoxic) processes prevailing, especially in the soils. ...

wetland
s, which work as a bio-filtration system. They contain wetland vegetation and are mostly built on uplands and
floodplain File:Flood plain 7991.JPG, Riparian vegetation on the floodplain of the Lynches River, close to Johnsonville, South Carolina. These tupelo and Taxodium, cypress trees show the ordinary high water mark, high-water mark of flooding. A floodpl ...
s. Constructed wetlands are built this way to avoid connection or damage to natural wetlands and other aquatic resources. There are two main categories of constructed wetlands: subsurface flow system and free water surface system. Proper planning and operating can help avoid possible harm done to the wetlands, which are caused by alteration of natural hydrology and introduction of invasive species. ;Benefits *
Water efficiency Water efficiency is reducing water wastage by measuring the amount of water required for a particular purpose and the amount of water used or delivered.Vickers, Amy. “Water Use and Conservation.” Amherst, MA Waterplow Press. June 2002. 434 Wa ...
: Constructed wetlands try to replicate natural wetland ecosystems. They are built to improve water efficiency and water quality. They also create
wildlife habitat In ecology, the term habitat summarises the array of resources, physical and biotic factors that are present in an area, such as to support the survival and reproduction of a particular species. A species habitat can be seen as the physical ...
s by using natural processes of plants, soils, and associated
microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells (cell theory). Organisms ar ...
s. In these types of wetlands, vegetation can trap parts of suspended solids and slow down water flow; the microorganisms that live there process some other pollutants. *
Cost-effective Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) is a form of economic analysis that compares the relative costs and outcomes (effects) of different courses of action. Cost-effectiveness analysis is distinct from cost–benefit analysis, which assigns a monetary ...
: Wetlands have low operating and maintenance costs. They can also help with fluctuating water levels. Aesthetically, constructed wetlands are able to add greenery to its surrounding environment. It also helps to reduce unpleasing odors of wastewater.


Green and blue roofs

Green roof A green roof or living roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a Waterproofing#Construction waterproofing, waterproofing membrane. It may also include additional lay ...

Green roof
s improve air and water quality while reducing energy cost. The plants and soil provide more green space and insulation on roofs. Green and blue roofs also help reducing city runoff by retaining rainfall providing a potential solution for the stormwater management in highly concentrated urban areas. The social benefit of green roofs is the rooftop agriculture for the residents. Green roofs also sequester rain and carbon pollution. Forty to eighty percent of the total volume of rain that falls on green roofs are able to be reserved. The water released from the roofs flow at a slow pace, reducing the amount of runoff entering the watershed at once. s, not technically being green infrastructure, collect and store rainfall, reducing the inrush of runoff water into sewer systems. Blue roofs use detention ponds, or
detention basin Detention Basin A detention basin or retarding basin is an excavated area installed on, or adjacent to, tributaries of river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In ...
s, for collecting the rainfall before it gets drained into waterways and sewers at a controlled rate. As well as saving energy by reducing cooling expenses, blue roofs reduce the
urban heat island effect An urban heat island (UHI) is an urban area or metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities. The temperature difference is usually larger at night than during the day, and is most ap ...

urban heat island effect
when coupled with reflective roofing material.


Rain gardens

Rain garden Rain gardens, also called bioretention facilities, are one of a variety of practices designed to treat polluted stormwater runoff. Rain gardens are designed landscape sites that reduce the flow rate, total quantity, and pollutant load of Surface ...

Rain garden
s are a form of stormwater management using water capture. Rain gardens are shallow depressed areas in the landscape, planted with shrubs and plants that are used to collect rainwater from roofs or pavement and allows for the stormwater to slowly infiltrate into the ground. Ubiquitous lawn grass is not a solution for controlling runoff, so an alternative is required to reduce urban and suburban first flush (highly toxic) runoff and to slow the water down for infiltration. In residential applications, water runoff can be reduced by 30% with the use of rain gardens in the homeowner’s yard. A minimum size of 150 sq. ft. up to a range of 300 sq. ft. is the usual size considered for a private property residence. The cost per square foot is about $5-$25, depending on the type of plants you use and the slope of the property. Native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials of the wetland and riparian zones being the most useful for runoff detoxification.


Downspout disconnection

Downspout disconnection is a form of green infrastructure that separates roof downspouts from the sewer system and redirects roof water runoff into permeable surfaces. It can be used for storing stormwater or allowing the water to penetrate the ground. Downspout disconnection is especially beneficial in cities with combined sewer systems. With high volumes of rain, downspouts on buildings can send 12 gallons of water a minute into the sewer system, which increases the risk of basement backups and sewer overflows. In attempts to reduce the amount of rainwater that enters the combined sewer systems, agencies such as the
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is a regional government agency that provides water reclamation and flood management services for about 1.1 million people in 28 communities in the Greater Milwaukee Area. A recipient of the U.S. ...

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
amended regulations that require downspout disconnection at residential areas.


Bioswales

Bioswale Image:Bioswale.jpg, 300px, Two bioswales for a housing development. The foreground one is under construction while the background one is established. Bioswales are channels designed to concentrate and convey stormwater runoff while removing debris ...

Bioswale
s are stormwater runoff systems providing an alternative to traditional
storm sewers A storm drain, storm sewer (United Kingdom, United States, U.S. and Canada), surface water drain/sewer (United Kingdom), or stormwater drain (Australia and New Zealand) is infrastructure designed to Drainage, drain excess rain and ground water fr ...

storm sewers
. Much like rain gardens, bioswales are vegetated or mulched channels commonly placed in long narrow spaces in urban areas. They absorb flows or carry stormwater runoff from heavy rains into sewer channels or directly to surface waters. Vegetated bioswales infiltrate, slow down, and filter stormwater flows that are most beneficial along streets and parking lots.


Green alleys

The Trust for Public Land The Trust for Public Land is a U.S. nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, pub ...
is working in partnership with the City of Los Angeles' Community Redevelopment Agency, Bureau of Sanitation, the
University of Southern California , mottoeng = "Let whoever earns the palm bear it" , religious_affiliation = Nonsectarian - Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations Denomination may refer to: * Religious den ...

University of Southern California
's Center for Sustainable Cities, and Jefferson High School by converting the existing 900 miles of alleys in the city to green alleys. The concept is to re-engineer existing alleyways to reflect more light to mitigate heat island effect, capture storm water, and make the space beautiful and usable by the neighboring communities. The first alley, completed in 2015, saved more than 750,000 gallons in its first year. The Green alleys will provide open space on top of these ecological benefits, converting spaces which used to feel unsafe, or used for dumping into a playground, and walking/biking corridor.


Green school yards

The Trust for Public Land The Trust for Public Land is a U.S. nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, pub ...
has completed 183 green school yards across the 5 boroughs in New York. Existing asphalt school yards are converted to a more vibrant and exciting place while also incorporating infrastructure to capture and store rainwater: rain garden, rain barrel, tree groves with pervious pavers, and an artificial field with a turf base. The children are engaged in the design process, lending to a sense of ownership and encourages children to take better care of their school yard. Success in New York has allowed other cities like Philadelphia and Oakland to also convert to green school yards.


Low-impact development

Low-impact development (also referred to as green stormwater infrastructure) are systems and practices that use or mimic natural processes that result in the infiltration, evapotranspiration or use of stormwater in order to protect water quality and associated aquatic habitat. LID practices aim to preserve, restore and create green space using soils, vegetation, and rainwater harvest techniques. It is an approach to land development (or re-development) that works with nature to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible. Many low impact development tools integrate vegetation or the existing soil to reduce runoff and let rainfall enter the natural water cycle.


Planning approach

The Green Infrastructure approach analyses the
natural environment The natural environment or natural world encompasses all life, living and non-living things occurring nature, naturally, meaning in this case not Artificiality, artificial. The term is most often applied to the Earth or some parts of Earth. Thi ...

natural environment
in a way that highlights its function and subsequently seeks to put in place, through
regulatory Regulation is the management of complex systems according to a set of rules and trends. In systems theory, these types of rules exist in various fields of biology and society, but the term has slightly different meanings according to context. For ...

regulatory
or planning policy, mechanisms that safeguard critical natural areas. Where life support functions are found to be lacking, plans may propose how these can be put in place through and/or engineered improvements. Within an urban context, this can be applied to re-introducing natural waterways and making a city self-sustaining particularly with regard to water, for example, to harvest water locally, recycle it, re-use it and integrate stormwater management into everyday infrastructure. The multi-functionality of this approach is key to the efficient and
sustainable Sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life. In the 21st century The 21st (twenty-first) century is the current century in the '' Anno Domini'' era or Common Era, in accordance with the ...

sustainable
use of land, especially in a compact and bustling country such as
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. En ...

England
where pressures on land are particularly acute. An example might be an urban edge river
floodplain File:Flood plain 7991.JPG, Riparian vegetation on the floodplain of the Lynches River, close to Johnsonville, South Carolina. These tupelo and Taxodium, cypress trees show the ordinary high water mark, high-water mark of flooding. A floodpl ...
which provides a repository for flood waters, acts as a
nature reserve A nature reserve (also known as a natural reserve, wildlife refuge, wildlife sanctuary, biosphere reserve or bioreserve, natural or nature preserve, or nature conservation area) is a protected area Protected areas or conservation areas are ...
, provides a recreational green space and could also be productively farmed (probably through grazing). There is growing evidence that the natural environment also has a positive effect on human health.


United Kingdom

In the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...

United Kingdom
, Green Infrastructure planning is increasingly recognised as a valuable approach for spatial planning and is now seen in national,
regional In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography Image:Snow-cholera-map-1.jpg, upright=1.2, Original map by John Snow showing the Cluster (ep ...
and local planning and policy documents and strategies, for example in the
Milton Keynes Milton Keynes ( ) is the largest settlement in Buckinghamshire, England, north-west of London. At the 2011 Census, the population of Milton Keynes urban area, its urban area was almost . The River Great Ouse forms its northern boundary; a tr ...
and
South Midlands The South Midlands is a notional area of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwes ...
Growth area. In 2009, guidance on green infrastructure planning was published by Natural England. This guidance promotes the importance of green infrastructure in 'place-making', i.e. in recognizing and maintaining the character of a particular location, especially where new developments are planned. In
North West England North West England is one of nine official regions of England and consists of the ceremonial counties of England, adminstrative counties of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. The North West had a population of 7, ...

North West England
the former '' Regional Spatial Strategy'' had a specific Green Infrastructure Policy (EM3 - Green Infrastructure) as well as other references to the concept in other land use development policies (e.g. DP6). The policy was supported by the ''North West Green Infrastructure Guide.'' The Green Infrastructure Think Tank (GrITT) provides the support for policy development in the region and manages the web site that acts as a repository for information on Green Infrastructure. The Natural Economy Northwest programme has supported a number of projects, commissioned by The Mersey Forest to develop the evidence base for green infrastructure in the region. In particular work has been undertaken to look at the economic value of green infrastructure, the linkage between grey and green infrastructure and also to identify areas where green infrastructure may play critical role in helping to overcome issues such as risks of flood or poor air quality. In March 2011, a prototype Green Infrastructure Valuation Toolkit was launched. The Toolkit is available under a Creative Commons license, and provides a range of tools that provide economic valuation of green infrastructure interventions. The toolkit has been trialled in a number of areas and strategies, including the Liverpool Green Infrastructure Strategy. In 2012, the Greater London Authority published the All London Green Grid Supplementary Planning Guidance (ALGG SPG) which proposes an integrated network of green and open spaces together with the Blue Ribbon Network of rivers and waterways. The ALGG SPG aims to promote the concept of green infrastructure, and increase its delivery by boroughs, developers, and communities, to benefit areas such as sustainable travel, flood management, healthy living and the economic and social uplift these support. Green Infrastructure is being promoted as an effective and efficient response to projected climate change. Green Infrastructure may include
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objectives.


United States

Green infrastructure programs managed by
EPA The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent executive agency of the United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the national government of the United States ...

EPA
and partner organizations are intended to improve
water quality Water quality refers to the Chemical property, chemical, Physical property, physical, and Biology, biological characteristics of water based on the standards of its usage. It is most frequently used by reference to a set of standards against whic ...

water quality
generally through more extensive management of stormwater runoff. The practices are expected to reduce stress on traditional water
drainage Drainage is the natural or artificial removal of a surface's water and sub-surface water from an area with excess of water. The internal drainage of most agricultural soils is good enough to prevent severe waterlogging (anaerobic conditio ...

drainage
infrastructure--
storm sewer A storm drain, storm sewer (United Kingdom, United States, U.S. and Canada), surface water drain/sewer (United Kingdom), or stormwater drain (Australia and New Zealand) is infrastructure designed to Drainage, drain excess rain and ground water fr ...
s and
combined sewer (POTW). During large storms, the relief structure allows some of the combined stormwater entering a storm drain Stormwater, also spelled storm water, is water that originates from rain, including snow and ice melt. Stormwater can soak into the ...
s—which are typically extensive networks of underground
pipes PIPES is the common name for piperazine-N,N′-bis(2-ethanesulfonic acid), and is a frequently used buffering agent in biochemistry. It is an ethanesulfonic acid buffer developed by Good et al. in the 1960s. Applications PIPES has two Acid dissoc ...
and/or surface water channels in U.S. cities, towns and suburban areas. Improved stormwater management is expected to reduce the frequency of
combined sewer overflow (POTW). During large storms, the relief structure allows some of the combined stormwater entering a storm drain Stormwater, also spelled storm water, is water that originates from rain, including snow and ice melt. Stormwater can soak into t ...
s and
sanitary sewer overflow Sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) is a condition in which untreated sewage Sewage, or domestic/municipal wastewater, is a type of wastewater that is produced by a community of people. It is characterized by volume Volume is the quantity of t ...
s, reduce the impacts of urban flooding, and provide other environmental benefits. Though green infrastructure is yet to become a mainstream practice, many US cities have initiated its implementation to comply with their MS4 permit requirements. For example, the City of
Philadelphia Philadelphia, colloquially Philly, is a city in the state of Pennsylvania in the United States. It is the sixth-most populous city in the United States and the most populous city in the state of Pennsylvania, with a 2019 estimated population ...

Philadelphia
has installed or supported a variety of retrofit projects in neighborhoods throughout the city. Installed improvements include: * permeable pavements in parks, basketball courts and parking lots *
rain garden Rain gardens, also called bioretention facilities, are one of a variety of practices designed to treat polluted stormwater runoff. Rain gardens are designed landscape sites that reduce the flow rate, total quantity, and pollutant load of Surface ...

rain garden
s and
bioretention A bioretention cell, also called a rain garden, in the United States. It is designed to treat polluted stormwater">United_States.html" ;"title="rain garden, in the United States">rain garden, in the United States. It is designed to treat polluted ...
systems at schools and other public facilities *
constructed wetland A constructed wetland (CW) is an artificial wetland to treat municipal or industrial wastewater, greywater or stormwater entering a storm drain Stormwater, also spelled storm water, is water that originates from rain, including snow and ice ...
s for management of stormwater runoff. Some of these facilities reduce the volume of runoff entering the city's aging combined sewer system, and thereby reduce the extent of system overflows during rainstorms. Another U.S. example is the State of
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware a ...

Maryland
's promotion of a program called "GreenPrint." GreenPrint Maryland is the first web-enabled map in the nation that shows the relative ecological importance of every parcel of land in the state. Combining color-coded maps, information layers, and
aerial photography Aerial photography (or airborne imagery) is the taking of photographs from an aircraft or other flying object. Platforms for aerial photography include fixed-wing aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by gaining sup ...
with public openness and transparency, Greenprint Maryland applies the best environmental science and
Geographic Information Systems A geographic information system (GIS) is a conceptualized framework that provides the ability to capture and analyze spatial and geographic data. GIS applications (or GIS apps) are computer-based tools that allow the user to create interactive ...
(GIS) to the urgent work of preserving and protecting environmentally critical lands. A valuable new tool not only for making land conservation decisions today, but for building a broader and better informed public consensus for sustainable growth and land preservation decisions into the future. The program was established in 2001 with the objective to "preserve an extensive intertwined network of lands vital to the long-term protection of the State's natural resources, in concert with other Smart Growth initiatives." In April 2011, EPA announced the ''Strategic Agenda to Protect Waters and Build More Livable Communities through Green Infrastructure'' and the selection of the first ten communities to be green infrastructure partners. The communities selected were: Austin, Texas; Chelsea, Massachusetts; the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (Cleveland, Ohio); the City and County of Denver, Colorado; Jacksonville, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles, California; Puyallup, Washington; Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse, New York; and Washington, D.C. The
Federal Emergency Management Agency The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known ...
(FEMA) is also promoting green infrastructure as a means of managing urban flooding (also known as localized flooding).


Singapore

Since 2009, two editions of the ABC (Active, Beautiful, Clean) Waters Design Guidelines have been published by the Public Utilities Board, Singapore. The latest version (2011) contains planning and design considerations for the holistic integration of drains, canals and reservoirs with the surrounding environment. The Public Utilities Board encourages the various stakeholders — landowners, private developers to incorporate ABC Waters design features into their developments, and the community to embrace these infrastructures for recreational & educational purposes. The main benefits outlined in the ABC Waters Concept include: * Treating stormwater runoff closer to the source naturally, without the use of chemicals through the use of plants and soil media, so that cleaner water is discharged into waterways and eventually our reservoirs. * Enhancing biodiversity and site aesthetics. * Bringing people closer to water, and creating new recreational and community spaces for people to enjoy.


Other states

A 2012 paper by the
Overseas Development Institute The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is a global affairs think tank, founded in 1960. Formally known as the “Overseas Development Institute”, its mission is "to inspire people to act on injustice and inequality through collaborative res ...
reviewed evidence of the economic impacts of green infrastructure in fragile states. Upfront construction costs for GI were up to 8% higher than non-green infrastructure projects.
Climate Finance Climate finance is “finance that aims at reducing emissions, and enhancing sinks of greenhouse gases A greenhouse gas (sometimes abbreviated GHG) is a gas that absorbs and emits radiant energy In physics Physics (from grc, φ ...
was not adequately captured by
Fragile state A fragile state or weak state is a country characterized by weak state capacityState capacity is the ability of a government to accomplish policy goals, either generally or in reference to specific aims. A state that lacks capacity is defined as a ...
s for GI investments, and governance issues may further hinder capability to take full advantage. GI Investments needed strong government participation as well as institutional capacities and capabilities that fragile states may not possess. Potential poverty reduction includes improved agricultural yields and higher
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rates, benefits that can be transmitted to other sectors of the economy not directly linked to the GI investment. Whilst there are examples of GI investments creating new jobs in a number of sectors, it is unclear what the employment opportunities advantages are in respect to traditional infrastructure investments. The correct market conditions (i.e. labour regulations or energy demand) are also required in order to maximise employment creation opportunities. Such factors that may not be fully exploited by
fragile state A fragile state or weak state is a country characterized by weak state capacityState capacity is the ability of a government to accomplish policy goals, either generally or in reference to specific aims. A state that lacks capacity is defined as a ...
governments lacking the capacity to do so. GI investments have a number of co-benefits including increased energy security and improved health outcomes, whilst a potential reduction of a country's vulnerability to the negative effects of climate change being arguably the most important co-benefit for such investments in a fragile state context. There is some evidence that GI options are taken into consideration during project appraisal. Engagement mostly occurs in projects specifically designed with green goals, hence there is no data showing decision making that leads to a shift towards any green alternative. Comparisons of costs, co-benefits, poverty reduction benefits or employment creation benefits between the two typologies are also not evident. Currently, an international standard for green infrastructure is developed: SuRe – The Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure is a global voluntary standard which integrates key criteria of sustainability and resilience into infrastructure development and upgrade. SuRe is developed by the Swiss Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation and the French bank Natixis as part of a multi-stakeholder process and will be compliant with ISEAL guidelines. The foundation has also developed the SuRe SmartScan, a simplified version of the SuRe Standard which serves as a self-assessment tool for infrastructure project developers. It provides them with a comprehensive and time-efficient analysis of the various themes covered by the SuRe Standard, offering a solid foundation for projects that are planning to become certified by the SuRe Standard in the future. Upon completion of the SmartScan, project developers receive a spider diagram evaluation, which indicates their project's performance in the different themes and benchmarks the performances with other SmartScan assessed projects.


Examples


Surrey, British Columbia

Farmers claimed that flooding of their farmlands was caused by suburban development upstream. The flooding was a result of funneled runoff directed into storm drains by impervious cove, which ran unmitigated and unabsorbed into their farmlands downstream. The farmers were awarded an undisclosed amount of money in the tens of millions as compensation. Low density and highly paved residential communities redirect stormwater from impervious surfaces and pipes to stream at velocities much greater than predevelopment rates. Not only are these practices environmentally damaging, they can be costly and inefficient to maintain. In response, the city of Surrey, British Columbia, Surrey opted to employ a green infrastructure strategy and chose a 250-hectare site called East Clayton as a demonstration project. The approach reduced the stormwater flowing downstream and allows for infiltration of rainwater closer if not at its point of origin. In result, the stormwater system at East Clayton had the ability to hold one inch of rainfall per day, accounting for 90% of the annual rainfall. The incorporation of green infrastructure at Surrey, British Columbia was able to create a sustainable environment that diminishes runoff and to save around $12,000 per household.


Nya Krokslätt, Sweden

The site of former factory Nya Krokslätt is situated between a mountain and a stream. Danish engineers, Ramboll, have designed a concept of slowing down and guiding storm water in the area with methods such as vegetation combined with ponds, streams and soak-away pits as well as glazed green-blue climate zones surrounding the buildings which delay and clean roof water and greywater. The design concept provides for a multifunctional, rich urban environment, which includes not only technical solutions for energy efficient buildings, but encompasses the implementation of blue-green infrastructure and ecosystem services in an urban area.


Zürich, Switzerland

Since 1991, the city of Zürich has had a law stating all flat roofs (unless used as terraces) must be greened roofed surfaces. The main advantages as a result of this policy include increased biodiversity, rainwater storage and outflow delay, and micro-climatic compensation (temperature extremes, radiation balance, evaporation and filtration efficiency). Roof biotopes are stepping stones which, together with the earthbound green areas and the seeds distributed by wind and birds, make an important contribution to the urban green infrastructure.


Duisburg-Nord, Germany

In the old industrial area of the Ruhr District in Germany, Duisburg-Nord is a landscape park which incorporates former industrial structures and natural biodiversity. The architects Latz + Partner developed the water park which now consists of the old River Emscher, subdivided into five main sections: Klarwasserkanal (Clear Water Canal), the Emschergraben (Dyke), the Emscherrinne (Channel), the Emscherschlucht (Gorge) and the Emscherbach (Stream). The open waste water canal of the “Old Emscher” river is now fed gradually by rainwater collection through a series of barrages and water shoots. This gradual supply means that, even in lengthy dry spells, water can be supplied to the Old Emscher to replenish the oxygen levels. This has allowed the canalised river bed to become a valley with possibilities for nature development and recreation. As a key part of the ecological objectives, much of the overgrown areas of the property were included in the plan as they were found to contain a wide diversity of flora and fauna, including threatened species from the red list. Another important theme in the development of the plan was to make the water system visible, in order to stimulate a relationship between visitors and the water.


New York Sun Works Center, US

The Greenhouse Project was started in 2008 by a small group of public school parents and educators to facilitate hands-on learning, not only to teach about food and nutrition, but also to help children make educated choices regarding their impact on the environment. The laboratory is typically built as a traditional greenhouse on school rooftops and accommodates a hydroponic urban farm and environmental science laboratory. It includes solar panels, hydroponic growing systems, a rainwater catchment system, a weather station and a vermi composting station. Main topics of education include nutrition, water resource management, efficient land use, climate change, biodiversity, conservation, contamination, pollution, waste management, and sustainable development. Students learn the relationship between humans and the environment and gain a greater appreciation of sustainable development and its direct relationship to cultural diversity.


Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm, Sweden

In the early 1990s, Hammarby Sjöstad had a reputation for being a run-down, polluted and unsafe industrial and residential area. Now, it is a new district in Stockholm where the City has imposed tough environmental requirements on buildings, technical installations and the traffic environment. An ‘eco-cycle’ solution named the Hammarby Model, developed by Fortum, Stockholm Water Company and the Stockholm Waste Management Administration, is an integral energy, waste and water system for both housing and offices. The goal is to create a residential environment based on sustainable resource usage. Examples include waste heat from the treated wastewater being used for heating up the water in the district heating system, rainwater runoff is returned to the natural cycle through infiltration in green roofs and treatment pools, sludge from the local wastewater treatment is recycled as fertiliser for farming and forestry. This sustainable model has been a source of inspiration to many urban development projects including the Toronto (Canada) Waterfront, London's New Wembley, and a number of cities/city areas in China.


Emeryville, California, US

EPA supported the city of Emeryville, California in the development of "Stormwater Guidelines for Green, Dense Redevelopment." Emeryville, which is a suburb of San Francisco, began in the 1990s reclaiming, remediating and redeveloping the many brownfields within its borders. These efforts sparked a successful economic rebound. The city did not stop there, and decided in the 2000s to harness the redevelopment progress for even better environmental outcomes, in particular that related to stormwater runoff, by requiring in 2005 the use of on-site GI practices in all new private development projects. The city faced several challenges, including a high water table, tidal flows, clay soils, contaminated soil and water, and few absorbent natural areas among the primarily impervious, paved parcels of existing and redeveloped industrial sites. The guidelines, and an accompanying spreadsheet model, were developed to make as much use of redevelopment sites as possible for handling stormwater. The main strategies fell into several categories: * Reducing the need, space and stormwater impact of motor vehicle parking by way of increased densities, height limits and floor area ratios; shared, stacked, indoor and unbundled automobile parking; making the best use of on-street parking and pricing strategies; car-sharing; free citywide mass transit; requiring one secure indoor bicycle parking space per bedroom and better bicycle and pedestrian roadway infrastructure. * Sustainable landscape design features, such as tree preservation and minimum rootable soil volumes for new tree planting, use of structural soils, suspended paving systems, bioretention and biofiltration strategies and requiring the use of the holistic practices of Bay-Friendly Landscaping. * Water storage and harvesting through cisterns and rooftop containers. * Other strategies to handle or infiltrate water on development and redevelopment sites.


Gowanus Canal Sponge Park, New York, US

The Gowanus Canal, in Brooklyn, New York, is bounded by several communities including Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Red Hook. The canal empties into New York Harbor. Completed in 1869, the canal was once a major transportation route for the then separate cities of Brooklyn and New York City. Manufactured gas plants, mills, tanneries, and chemical plants are among the many facilities that operated along the canal. As a result of years of discharges, storm water runoff, sewer outflows, and industrial pollutants, the canal has become one of the nation's most extensively contaminated water bodies. Contaminants include PCBs, coal tar wastes, heavy metals, and volatile organics. On March 2, 2010, EPA added the canal to its Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Placing the canal on the list allows the agency to further investigate contamination at the site and develop an approach to address the contamination. After the NPL designation, several firms tried to redesign the area surrounding the canal to meet EPA's principles. One of the proposals was the Gowanus Canal Sponge Park, suggested by Susannah Drake of DLANDstudio, an architecture and landscape architecture firm based in Brooklyn. The firm designed a public open space system that slows, absorbs, and filters surface water runoff with the goal of remediating contaminated water, activating the private canal waterfront, and revitalizing the neighborhood. The unique feature of the park is its character as a working landscape that means the ability to improve the environment of the canal over time while simultaneously supporting public engagement with the canal ecosystem. The park was cited in a professional award by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), in the Analysis and Planning category, in 2010.


Lafitte Greenway, New Orleans, Louisiana, US

The Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, is a post-Hurricane Katrina revitalization effort that utilizes green infrastructure to improve water quality as well as support wildlife habitat. The site was previously an industrial corridor that connected the French Quarter to Bayou St. John, New Orleans, Bayou St. John and Lake Pontchartrain. Part of the revitalization plan was to incorporate green infrastructure for environmental sustainability. One strategy to mitigate localized flooding was to create recreation fields that are carved out to hold water during times of heavy rains. Another strategy was to restore the native ecology of the corridor, giving special attention to the ecotones that bisect the site. The design proposed retrofitting historic buildings with stormwater management techniques, such as rainwater collection systems, which allows historic buildings to be preserved. This project received the Award of Excellence from the ASLA in 2013.


Geographic information system applications

A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer system for that allows users to capture, store, display, and analyze all kinds of spatial data on Earth. GIS can gather multiple layers of information on one single map regarding streets, buildings, soil types, vegetation, and more. Planners can combine or calculate useful information such as impervious area percentage or vegetation coverage status of a specific region to design or analyze the use of green infrastructure. The continued development of geographic information systems and their increasing level of use is particularly important in the development of Green Infrastructure plans. The plans frequently are based on GIS analysis of many layers of geographic information.


Green Infrastructure Master Plan

According to the "Green Infrastructure Master Plan" developed by Hawkins Partners, civil engineers use GIS to analyze the modeling of impervious surfaces with historical Nashville rainfall data within the CSS (combined sewer system) to find the current rates of runoff. GIS systems are able to help planning teams analyze potential volume reductions at the specific region for green infrastructures, including water harvesting, green roofs, urban trees, and structural control measures.


Implementation


Barriers

Lack of funding is consistently cited as a barrier to the implementation of green infrastructure. One advantage that green infrastructure projects offer, however, is that they generate so many benefits that they can compete for a variety of diverse funding sources. Some tax incentive programs administered by federal agencies can be used to attract financing to green infrastructure projects. Here are two examples of programs whose missions are broad enough to support green infrastructure projects: * The U.S. Department of Energy administers a range of energy efficiency tax incentives, and green infrastructure could be integrated into project design to claim the incentive. An example of how this might work is found in Oregon's Energy Efficiency Construction Credits. In Eugene, Oregon, a new biofuel station built on an abandoned gas station site included a green roof, bioswales and rain gardens. In this case, nearly $250,000 worth of tax credits reduced income and sales tax for the private company that built and operated the project. * The U.S. Department of Treasury administers the multibillion-dollar New Markets Tax Credit Program, which encourages private investment for a range of project types (typically real estate or business development projects) in distressed areas. Awards are allocated to non-profit and private entities based on their proposals for distributing these tax benefits.


Benefits

Some people might expect that green spaces are excessive to maintain and extravagant in nature, but high-performing green spaces can provide real economic, ecological and social benefits. For example: * Urban forestry in an urban environment can supplement managing storm water and reduce the energy usage costs and runoff in result. * Bio-retention systems can work to create a green transportation system. * Stormwater Curb Extensions can increase pedestrian safety by increasing visibility and reducing crossing distances at intersections. *Lawn grass is not an answer to runoff, so an alternative is required to reduce urban and suburban first flush (highly toxic) runoff and to slow the water down for infiltration. In residential applications, water runoff can be reduced by 30% with the use of rain gardens in the homeowner’s yard. A minimum size of 150 sq. ft. up to a range of 300 sq. ft. is the usual size considered for a private property residence. The cost per square foot is about $5-$25, depending on the type of plants you use and the slope of your property. Native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials of the wetland and riparian zones being the most useful for runoff detoxification. As a result, high performing green spaces work to create a balance between built and natural environments.


Economic effects

A study in 2012 that focused on 479 green infrastructure projects across the United States, found that 44% of green infrastructure projects reduce costs compared to the 31% that increased the costs. The most notable cost savings were due to reduced stormwater runoff and decreased heating and cooling costs. A comprehensive green infrastructure in Philadelphia is planned to cost just $1.2 billion over the next 25 years, compared to over $6 billion for "grey" infrastructure (concrete tunnels created to move water). Under the new green infrastructure plan it is expected that: *250 people will be employed annually in green jobs. *Up to 1.5 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emission to be avoided or absorbed through green infrastructure each year (the equivalent of removing close to 3,400 vehicles from roadways) *Air quality will improve due to all the new trees, green roofs, and parks *Communities will benefit on the social and health side *About 20 deaths due to asthma will be avoided *250 fewer work or school days will be missed *Deaths due to excessive urban heat could also be cut by 250 over 20 years. *The new greenery will increase property values by $390 million over 45 years, also boosting the property taxes the city takes in. A green infrastructure plan in New York City is expected to cost $1.5 billion less than a comparable grey infrastructure approach. Also, the green stormwater management systems alone will save $1 billion, at a cost of about $0.15 less per gallon. The sustainability benefits in New York City range from $139–418 million over the 20 year life of the project. This green plan estimates that “every fully vegetated acre of green infrastructure would provide total annual benefits of $8.522 in reduced energy demand, $166 in reduced CO2 emissions, $1,044 in improved air quality, and $4,725 in increased property value.”


Initiatives

One program that has integrated green infrastructure into construction projects worldwide is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. This system offers a benchmark rating for green buildings and neighborhoods, credibly quantifying a project's environmental responsibility. The LEED program incentivizes development that uses resources efficiently. For example, it offers specific credits for reducing indoor and outdoor water use, optimizing energy performance, producing renewable energy, and minimizing or recycling project waste. Two LEED initiatives that directly promote the use of green infrastructure include the rainwater management and heat island reduction credits. An example of a successfully LEED-certified neighborhood development is the 9th and Berks Street transit-oriented development (TOD) in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA which achieved a LEED Platinum, Platinum level rating on October 12, 2017. Another approach to implementing green infrastructure has been developed by the International Living Future Institute. Their Living Community Challenge assesses a community or city in twenty different aspects of sustainability. Notably, the Challenge considers whether the development achieves net positive water and energy uses and utilizes replenishable materials.


See also

*European green infrastructure *Green belt *Infrastructure *Land recycling *Permaculture *Recycling infrastructure *Sustainable architecture *Sustainable engineering *Baubotanik (building method - Germany)


References


Notes


Further reading

* . Design manuals published by state and local agencies. * Natural Resources Defense Council (2011)
Rooftops to Rivers II: Green Strategies for Controlling Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflows
* City of Philadelphia (2009)
"Green City Clean Waters"
* City of Nashville & Davidson County (2009)
"Green Infrastructure Design"
* City of Chicago (2010)
"Green Alley Handbook"
* Southeast Tennessee Development District (2011)
"Green Infrastructure Handbook"
* Center for Green Infrastructure Design (2011)
"Why is Green Infrastructure Important?"
* Center for Green Infrastructure Design (2011)
"The Benefits of Green Infrastructure"


External links

{{Commons category


Green Infrastructure Case Studies
The Conservation Fund
Save the Rain
- Onondaga County, NY

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan
- Pima County, Arizona
The Center for Green Infrastructure Design
- The Center for Green Infrastructure Design
Green Infrastructure WikiLow Impact Development
- The Low Impact Development Center (US)
Green Infrastructure Resource Center
- American Society of Landscape Architects

- ASLA award winner project *Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation (GIB) Environmental engineering Hydrology and urban planning Landscape Sustainable urban planning Water pollution