Toward a more inclusive definition of green infrastructure
by Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
January 5, 2022
Green infrastructure has been embraced as a tool to help cities achieve sustainability and resilience goals while improving the lives of urban residents. How green infrastructure is defined guides the types of projects that cities implement, with enduring impacts to people and the urban environment.
A new nationwide analysis of 122 plans from 20 US cities, published today in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, found that many plans fail to explicitly define green infrastructure. When they do, they tend to focus on stormwater management, favoring engineered facilities over parks and larger urban green spaces. The study is the first systematic review of the use and definition of the green infrastructure concept in US city plans.
Lead author Zbigniew Grabowski, who completed the work as a postdoctoral associate at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, explains, “Green infrastructure is broadly understood to be a good thing, but many city plans lack a clear definition of what it actually is. Hydrological definitions dominate. This narrow view can limit project funding and cause cities to miss out on vital social and ecological services that more integrative green infrastructure can provide.”
Read the Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment paper: https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/fee.2445