REGIONAL GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE FRAMEWORK
PHASES 1, 2, AND 3
Christina was the project manager for the three-phase Regional Green Infrastructure Framework contracted by Mid-America Regional Council. The first two phases included team members from BNIM, Biohabitats, BikeWalkKC, and Parson & Associates. Phase 1 established a methodology for identifying regional priority areas of combined ecological and social need. Phase 2 provided two community-scale, replicable examples defining a process, (with Rock Island Corridor and Shawnee Mission School District) as well as a system of strategies that address: habitat restoration, water quality, mobility, education, and active recreation. Phase 3 defined priority regional Green Infrastructure policies and supporting strategies.
Green, or living, infrastructure solutions, are solutions that simultaneously help to alleviate the pressures of wet-weather events while providing an important function to our communities. In addition to providing the ecosystem services of cleaning the air and 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 also provides the same benefits to communities downstream.
During the Regional Green Infrastructure Policy Study, three overarching policy recommendations emerged from regional stakeholder discussions:
Development of a package of model, local green infrastructure-friendly ordinances
Updates to local stormwater management planning guidelines and engineering standards
Integration of conservation and transportation at the plan, program and project levels
Progress on the three priorities was framed within a larger context of supporting strategies in regional collaboration, leadership development and capacity building, communications and education, tools and data, integrated regional/local planning, funding, and implementation.
Greater Kansas City Region
2016 - 2018
Mid-America Regional Council
Phase 1: 2016
Regional Green Infrastructure Framework
(While at BNIM)
Phase 2: 2017
Green Infrastructure Playbook
(While at BNIM and with Hoxie Collective)
Phase 3: 2018
Regional Green Infrastructure Policy Prioritization
Plan Documents located HERE
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
The steps of preliminary study for integrated green infrastructure strategies include both qualitative and quantitative evaluation. An outline of the steps follows:
1. Define a study area boundary or buffer zone around your focal project area, including community connections.
2. Identify priority ecological and human assets and needs in the area using regional mapping resources (e.g., MARC's Atlas and models).
3. Engage with stakeholders to set goals and identify upcoming challenges and opportunities within the study area.
4. Identify and evaluate the places with the strongest intersections of opportunities and needs for the application of green infrastructure strategies.
5. Assign responsibilities and implement strategies.
Rock Island Corridor Suitability Study
Higher Ecological Need/Restoration
Higher Ecological Value/Conservation
Higher Social Need
Intersection of Restoration & Social Need
Intersection of Conservation & Social Need
Intersection of Restoration & Conservation
Intersection of Restoration, Conservation, & Social Need
Rock Island Corridor, at Municipal Farm, Proposed Network of Green Infrastructure Strategies and Community Connections
Ecological Conservation Zones
Ecological Restoration Zones
Edge Complete Streets
Neighborhood Complete Streets
Existing Community Hubs
PHASE 3 - POLICY DOCUMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGN