GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE FRAMEWORK: CONNECTING PEOPLE TO NATURE
Christina was the project manager for the multi-phased Regional Green Infrastructure planning contracted by Mid-America Regional Council. The first two phases included team members from BNIM, Biohabitats, BikeWalkKC, and Parson & Associates. Phase 1, the Green Infrastructure Framework, established a methodology for identifying regional priority areas of combined ecological and social need.
Green, living infrastructure, solutions are solutions that simultaneously help to alleviate the pressures of wet-weather events while also providing an important function to our communities. In addition to providing the ecosystem services of cleaning the air, slowing, and cleaning water, living systems also improve the economic value of our built environment and connect people to nature. Green infrastructure is a functional component of urban design that provides a greater return on investment than gray infrastructure. When it is designed and managed to meet local needs for rainwater, stream health, and reduction of the heat island effect, it provides the same benefits to communities downstream.
PHASE 1 - GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE FRAMEWORK: CONNECTING PEOPLE TO NATURE
PRIORITIZED GOALS AND STRATEGIES
The facilitated dialogue of each workshop watershed area focused on using the inventory description and the knowledge of the diverse group around the table to select, compose and prioritize goal areas and strategies for Water, Land and Energy and Atmosphere. Then the groups discussed key opportunities for integrating green infrastructure into their work, and what information and measures will help to make the case and stimulate connected regional projects.
Improve health of rivers and streams.
Connect people to water - education, advocacy, access.
Improve quality of life with green infrastructure amenities.
Improve local habitat.
Establish conservation priorities.
Regulate the microclimate with living systems.
Improve air quality.
Reduce energy consumption.
REGIONAL ASSESSMENT OF VALUE AND NEED