Green Infrastructure Primer


Green infrastructure is a term used to describe innovative storm water management techniques such as porous pavement, rain gardens, constructed wetlands, green roofs, and water harvesting techniques, which help address urban storm water issues in a sustainable, aesthetic and low-impact way. When integrated throughout an urban watershed, green infrastructure has been shown to reducing flooding and combined sewer overflows, effectively recharge groundwater, reduce urban heat sink effects and improve the quality of streams and water bodies. In addition to the water management benefits, green infrastructure has been shown to add social and economic value to the urban environments. By adding to aesthetic beauty through the addition of landscaping and trees, green infrastructure can be used to revitalize urban areas, increase property value, attract new business and customers, and reduce crime. By reducing pollutants in the air and water, green infrastructure can improve both the mental and physical health of a community. By reducing urban heat sink effects, green infrastructure – in particular, green roofs – can reduce energy use in houses and buildings.