Infrastructure is generally thought of as the pipes, roads, and power lines that supply the water, energy, sanitary services, and means of transportation that support urban life. Green Infrastructure is a network of green spaces and other areas that use plants and reduce paved surfaces to provide floodwater management, improve water quality, and provide natural areas for recreation and movement within the city. Examples include rain gardens and multi-purpose trails.
Just like other infrastructure systems, Green Infrastructure should be carefully planned, designed, and coordinated with planning for roads, sewers, and water lines for maximum benefit.
In the Cuyahoga Valley, lands managed by the Metroparks Systems and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park are important Green Infrastructure assets. Efforts are underway to increase the Green Infrastructure of the region. These projects include:
Because Green Infrastructure relies on biological and geographic connections as well as coordination between professionals from different backgrounds, it should be:
- Designed holistically – Consider the whole ecosystem (air, water, land, etc.)
- Planned comprehensively – Present the ecological, social, and economic benefits, functions, and values
- Laid out strategically – Cross multiple jurisdictions and incorporate various levels of government
- Planned and implemented publicly – Gather input from and involve the public
- Grounded in the principles and practices of diverse professions – Base on sound science
- Funded up-front – Recognize as primary public investment