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Green infrastructure and urban sustainability

  • June 2019
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Culligan, P.J.

Culligan, P.J. (2020). Green infrastructure and urban sustainability: A discussion of recent advances and future challenges based on multiyear observations in New York City. Science and Technology for the Built Environment, 25(9). DOI: 10.1080/23744731.2019.1629243.

ABSTRACT: Although the majority of urban green infrastructure (GI) programs in the United States, and elsewhere, are being driven by stormwater management challenges arising as a result of the impervious nature of modern cities, GI is also believed to provide other benefits that enhance urban sustainability. This article uses a case study approach to discuss the role that GI systems might play in urban climate adaptation strategies for cities like New York City, where increases in both temperature and precipitation are projected over the coming decades. Examples of work conducted by the author and colleagues in New York City to quantify the performance of urban GI are first summarized. This work includes monitoring efforts to understand how extensive green roofs retain rainfall, reduce surface temperatures, and sequester carbon. Next, a discussion of the advantages that a distributed, or neighborhood-level, GI system might bring to a climate adaptation strategy is provided. The article then concludes with an outline of some of the future work that is needed to fully realize the potential of urban GI systems to address future climate change impacts.

Read the full article here.