Green Infrastructure


Green infrastructure installations include distributed stormwater management infrastructure (e.g. green roofs, rain gardens, bioswales, and tree-lined streets), as well as the greenways, parks, urban farms, and protected river basins that weave through a city’s environment. There are many ecosystem benefits associated with healthy and extensive urban green infrastructure -e.g. reduced stormwater flows, improved water quality, carbon sequestration, reduced urban heat island effects, biodiversity. Studies also indicate that green urban areas can improve property values and have multiple social, economic, health, and psychological benefits.

However, there are green infrastructure synergies and trade-offs that are not yet well understood. For example, investments in green infrastructure may provide livability and resilience benefits in a neighborhood, contributing to economic renewal and beautification, but they may also drive processes of gentrification and give rise to related social justice concerns. Developing science-based methods for understanding the interactions at play between green infrastructure co-benefit and tradeoffs is a core part of the network’s research efforts in this area.

Additionally, greater social and technical understanding of how best to design, steward, and govern distributed green infrastructures is critically important for being able to successfully leverage green infrastructure systems in support of environment, health, and wellbeing outcomes.


Environmental and Social Dimensions of Community Gardens in East Harlem

  • January 2019
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Petrovic, N., Simpson, T., Orlove, B., & Dowd-Uribe, B. (2019). Environmental and social dimensions of community gardens in East Harlem. Landscape and Urban Planning, 183(2019), 36-49. ABSTRACT: Community gardens are popular in … Read more

Science-Policy Dialogue Report No. 1- Distributed and Localized Infrastructure in Cities

  • September 2018
  • Report
  • Author: Multiple

The localization and decentralization of key infrastructure systems has emerged as a potential strategy for helping cities achieve multiple sustainability outcomes spanning environment, economy, health, wellbeing, and equity. Examples of … Read more

Urban Tree Pit Design Factors for Stormwater Management Performance

  • July 2018
  • Journal Brief
  • Author: Multiple

Street trees in the urban environment provide important ecosystem services including stormwater management, reducing pollutant discharges and flooding by lessening surface runoff. Does the design of an urban tree pit … Read more

Stormwater Infiltration Capacity of Street Tree Pits: Quantifying the influence of different design and management strategies in New York City

  • February 2018
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Elliott, R.M., Adkins, E.R., Culligan, P.L., & M.I. Palmer. (2018). “Stormwater infiltration capacity of street tree pits: Quantifying the influence of different design and management strategies in New York City.” … Read more

Hotspot Analysis and Strategic Siting of Green Infrastructure to Maximize Ecosystem Service Provision

  • March 2017
  • Journal Brief
  • Author: Sara Meerow and Josh Newell

Ecosystem services are the social and ecological benefits that are provided to humans by the natural environment. Where should cities strategically locate green infrastructure (GI) to address the needs of … Read more

Spatial planning for multifunctional green infrastructure: Growing resilience in Detroit

  • March 2017
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Meerow, S., & Newell, J. P. (2017). “Spatial planning for multifunctional green infrastructure: Growing resilience in Detroit”. Landscape and Urban Planning, 159, 62-75. ABSTRACT: Cities are expanding green infrastructure to enhance resilience and … Read more

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