Planners and park professionals routinely incorporate green infrastructure principles into the planning and design of public parks. This approach can be a powerful tool to improve the environmental quality of parks, engage and empower nearby communities, and provide social equity benefits. Green infrastructure refers to natural or artificial land forms and plant communities whose ecological processes provide benefits to human developments. Researchers commonly describe these benefits as ecosystem services. At the city or regional scale, green infrastructure consists of a network of natural areas and open spaces.
At the site or neighborhood scale, the term "green infrastructure" has been applied to stormwater management techniques that incor porate natural features or mimic ecological processes . These features include native trees and landscaping, rain gardens, bioswales, constructed wetlands, green roofs, and permeable pavement.
About the Author
David Morley, AICP
David Morley, AICP, is a Research Program and QA Manager with the American Planning Association in Chicago, where he manages and contributes to sponsored research projects; manages the development of the Research KnowledgeBase; provides customized research assistance through the Inquiry Answer Service; develops, organizes, and participates in educational sessions and workshops; and writes for APA publications. Mr. Morley also co-edits Zoning Practice, a monthly publication to inform planners about smarter land-use practice, and PAS QuickNotes, a series of briefing papers that explain planning basics for public officials and engaged citizens.