What Is Green Infrastructure and Why Does It Matter?
Green infrastructure (GI) is a network of decentralized stormwater management practices, such as green roofs, trees, rain gardens
and permeable pavement, that can capture and infiltrate rain where it falls, thus reducing stormwater runoff and improving
the health of surrounding waterways. While there are different scales of green infrastructure, such as large swaths of land set
aside for preservation, this guide focuses on GI's benefits within the urban context.
The ability of these practices to deliver multiple ecological, economic and social benefits or services has made green
infrastructure an increasingly popular strategy in recent years. In addition to reducing polluted
stormwater runoff, GI practices can also positively impact energy consumption, air quality, carbon reduction and sequestration,
property prices, recreation and other elements of community health and vitality that have monetary or other social value.
Moreover, green infrastructure practices provide flexibility to communities faced with the need to adapt infrastructure to a changing climate.