The Benefits of Green Infrastructure

…The wall of trees in the parking lot of a mall, the green roof on top of a store, the greenbelt winding through an office park…this green infrastructure isn’t just decorative; it has essential benefits — environmental, economic, and social.  On top of creating beautiful community spaces, green infrastructure (infrastructure that considers the natural environment when planning urban land use) can also make cities more resilient against climate change. As extreme weather events like severe flooding and droughts become increasingly common nationwide, we are all feeling the impacts of our rapidly changing climate.  And today’s cities weren’t designed to meet the challenges that come with this — fires, power outages, and water restrictions — just to name a few. Urban planners are rethinking the way cities are laid out and corporate campuses are integrating green infrastructure to support environmental resilience and boost people’s well-being. In addition to green roofs and greenbelts, some other examples of green infrastructure include living walls, rain gardens, rain cisterns, urban tree canopies, wildlife crossings/overpasses, windbreaks, and fish ladders.  So, how exactly do these spaces provide environmental, economic, and social benefits? And how can we use smart irrigation solutions to help them thrive? The Benefits of Green Infrastructure Environmental Well-functioning green infrastructure can increase a community’s resilience against climate change and extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods. A couple examples of this: Green roofs and urban tree canopies can prevent “urban heat islands” — areas in cities that experience higher temperatures due to dense pavement concentrations and buildings retaining heat. Having more trees and plants helps deflect the heat and keep these areas cooler and less polluted. Planting rain gardens – gardens made up of rain-tolerant plants – helps mitigate the effects of floods. These gardens absorb 30% more heavy rainfall than grass and release it slowly into the soil, reducing erosion and runoff. Because of these numerous environmental benefits, incorporating green infrastructure like green roofs and rain gardens onto buildings are a great way for businesses to more easily meet their ESG goals. A great example of this is the green


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