by Cory Fleming, senior technical director & program specialist, ICMA

Infrastructure provides society with the systems it needs to operate daily.  Streets and highways, traffic signs and street lighting, water and sewer, all these systems comprise what is known in the industry as gray infrastructure.

But these aren’t the only systems required. The natural environment provides a strong foundation for “green infrastructure.”  Green infrastructure includes systems that help preserve a better quality of life for people, animals, and plants.  Building strong green infrastructure systems offers many benefits to society.  Watersheds help protect water quality both above and below ground. Wildlife habitat sustains diverse and healthy ecosystems.  Well-designed parks and tree planting offer a means to reduce heat in urban environments. Wetlands protect against flooding. 

[For more on green infrastructure, download this infographic and six-step checklist for implementing a green infrastructure plan]

Planning for infrastructure, especially green infrastructure, is critical for building a healthy and sustainable future for our people and communities. For this reason, Esri launched the National Green Infrastructure Initiative to aid communities in planning for their futures.  Inventorying, classifying and cataloging a community’s GIS data on green infrastructure is the first step in understanding what needs to be done to deliver quality services and enrich the quality of life.

[Download this green infrastructure infographic and six-step checklist for implementing a green infrastructure plan]


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