Green infrastructure is a term that refers to the natural and semi-natural systems that provide environmental, economic, and social benefits. This includes urban forests, parks, green roofs, rain gardens, and other types of vegetation-based solutions that help manage stormwater runoff, reduce air pollution, mitigate the urban heat island effect, improve biodiversity and human health.
The concept of green infrastructure has gained momentum in recent years as cities around the world are facing multiple challenges related to climate change and population growth. By investing in green infrastructure projects instead of traditional grey infrastructure like concrete pipes or underground storage tanks for water management can save money while also providing co-benefits such as increased property values or reduced energy consumption.
One example of successful implementation of green infrastructure is Philadelphia’s Green City Clean Waters program which aims to transform 1/3 of its impervious surfaces into vegetated areas by 2030. The program has already implemented over 1000 green stormwater tools including rain gardens which have helped capture more than 2 billion gallons of stormwater each year.
While there are still some challenges associated with implementing green infrastructure such as maintenance costs or lack of public awareness about their benefits but these issues can be addressed through better education campaigns and partnerships between stakeholders across different sectors. Overall investing in green infrastructure is a smart choice for cities looking to address climate change while also improving quality of life for residents.