Green infrastructure is a form of management that protects, restores, or imitates the natural water cycle in a more cost-effective manner. While green infrastructure was built on the basis to improve urban environments, green infrastructure planning actually does more than that. This unique process also immensely improves community safety and increases quality of life. Green infrastructure combines the natural environment with engineering processes to produce clean water, conserve the function and values of the ecosystem, and most importantly, provide ample benefits to our society and wildlife. Excellent green infrastructure planning and provision boasts environmental, social, and economic benefits.
Taking a Closer Look at Green Infrastructure Planning
When properly implemented, green infrastructure planning can result in the reduction of urban heat, improved stormwater management, and lower building energy demand. However, to avoid drawbacks, it’s essential that green infrastructure practices are constantly maintained. Since urban stormwater runoff is one of the main culprits for water pollution, it’s essential that utilize a process that will eliminate this problem. Stormwater will drain through gutters, storm sewers, etc. and is emptied out in large bodies of water. From its travels, stormwater carries countless forms of bacteria, trash, metals, and other pollutants that are harmful to our environment. To reduce this environmental issue, green infrastructure engineers will use vegetation, soil, and other elements that will help restore the natural process of water management.
Currently, green infrastructure planning and solutions can be applied to various scales within our society. This process can be adapted for houses and buildings and larger landscape levels. Some green infrastructure practices include the following:
- Rain gardens
- Permeable pavements
- Green roofs
- Infiltration planters
- Trees and tree boxes
- Rainwater harvesting systems
Additionally, on a large scale, the implementation of green infrastructure can preserve and restore essential natural landscapes including forests, wetlands, and floodplains.
With proper green infrastructure planning and provisions implemented, our society will see a vast increase in public health, safety, and quality of life.