Green Infrastucture 101
Comprehensive community planning represents the most effective tool available for the implementation of a green infrastructure network. Requirements for community comprehensive plans vary from state to state, and certain regions within states, such as MSAs or other urban areas, can have requirements that are unique to that area. It would be difficult to create a broadly applicable template of comprehensive planning requirements. In general, community comprehensive plan requirements are a snapshot of the current conditions of a community and a blueprint for its future. Comprehensive green infrastructure planning should be incorporated into community plans, regardless of the minimum requirements of a state or jurisdiction. Planning toolkits are effective ways to identify components of a green infrastructure network that should be given consideration in a community comprehensive plan.
The Comprehensive Plan should act as the guide for the community as it progresses along a path of growth and development. Comprehensive plans set goals, shape policies and give direction to the actions of public officials. Prioritizing a green infrastructure network within the comprehensive plan gives the legal support and directive needed for its successful implementation. It also serves notice to citizens and community stakeholders as to the priorities of the community and informs the allocation of resources for community programs and projects.
Comprehensive planning processes can be lengthy - ranging from several months to a year or more. The level of citizen and stakeholder input coupled with the analysis and technical expertise required to address plan requirements can influence the time and effort needed to complete a plan. Green infrastructure planning can be incorporated concurrently with a general community plan, or it can be undertaken as a separate, intensive process that is adopted as a part of the community comprehensive plan.
Prioritizing a green infrastructure network within the comprehensive plan gives the legal support and directive needed for its successful implementation.
The inclusion of a green infrastructure plan within a community comprehensive plan rarely entails risk. However, as with any process involving input from multiple stakeholders, communication and consensus building can take time and effort, and in some instances prove challenging.
Local government officials, citizens and community stakeholders, private consultants as necessary
Cost drivers associated with implementing a green infrastructure plan include the availability of existing data (e.g., inventories of environmentally sensitive resources), the level of public involvement and the thoroughness of the plan.
Green infrastructure (GI) is a network of decentralized stormwater management practices, such as green roofs, trees, rain gardens and permeable pavement, that can capture and infiltrate rain where it falls, thus reducing stormwater runoff and improving the health of surrounding waterways.
100,000 - 750,000
In order to counter pressures on the municipal sewer system, cities are turning to ecosystem based stormwater management projects that are cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing, and beneficial to public health.
100,000 - 750,000
Green infrastructure has the potential to not only provide environmental and social benefits, but also economic benefits when addressed at a community-