The term Green Infrastructure (GI) currently has multiple interpretations and definitions depending on the context. For the purposes of the Green Infrastructure Integration Plan, Green Infrastructure refers to practices that provide social, economic, and environmental benefits through environmental site design that is intended to mimic the natural hydrologic condition and allow stormwater to infiltrate into the ground and evapotranspirate into the air.
Green Infrastructure is a natural approach that is used to replicate a site's predevelopment hydrologic function. The goal of Green Infrastructure is to design a built environment that remains a functioning part of an ecosystem rather than existing apart from it. This is a relatively new approach to urban stormwater management that strategically integrates stormwater controls throughout the urban landscape and does not rely on conventional end-of-pipe structural techniques.
Typical benefits of Green Infrastructure include:
Vegetation and shading reduce urban air temperature
Provides “Green Job” opportunities
Educational through street kiosks
Improved health through improved air quality
Energy cost reduction and water conservation
“Green Enterprise” business opportunities
Improved water quality
Carbon footprint reduction
Recycling and beneficial reuse