Planning for Blue and Green: A Case for Green Infrastructure

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Carpenter, Sophia
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With the growing and ever present need to address the impacts of climate change, the burdens placed on cities’ stormwater management systems are exceeding the capacity. In recent years, green infrastructure has been one of many highly discussed strategies that may better address these conflicts, but it is not a new invention. Concepts of green infrastructure can be traced back to germ theory and Fredrick Olmstead’s parks to landscape urbanism and Design with Nature. Today, the idea of green infrastructure surpasses theory and naturalistic design. It is merged with policy, economic development, stormwater management, and street infrastructure to become a part of a multitude of cities landscapes around the globe. Prior to implementing green infrastructure, we need to understand what green infrastructure is; its capabilities, gaps and conflicts; potential impacts; and an understanding of the needed investments to make green infrastructure feasible and maintainable. Analyzing the planning process and the implementation strategies other cities have taken will result in a better understanding of how to implement infrastructure appropriately and better consider the circumstances of the urban landscape. With a knowledge of successes and failures in implemented green infrastructure, we can use that information to propose best management practices for the City of Atlanta that are considerate of the social, economic, and environmental factors of the city. It is our hope that as green infrastructure becomes more common that cities make more informed decisions that are embracive the existing fabric of the city and enhance it.
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