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A Greener and Brighter Future for Cities

Cities are turning to Blue-Green Infrastructure solutions that utilize ecosystem services in the management of water resources while providing multiple co-benefits.

By Robert C. Brears

Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI) is a strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas that are designed and managed to deliver a wide range of environmental, economic, and social benefits. These benefits include:

  • Improved water quality: When rain falls on a city’s surfaces (streets, sidewalks, and rooftops), it collects oil, litter, and other pollutants as it runs off city surfaces into waterways. BGI enables cities to capture and clean this stormwater, ensuring waterways are healthier
  • Reduced potential for flooding: BGI slows down and holds stormwater allowing it to soak into the ground. This helps reduce the volume of water entering the sewer system and prevents flooding
  • Enhanced resilience to climate change: BGI can use excess water as a resource for communities and natural habitats. BGI also helps cool cities during extreme heat events
  • Reduced sewer infrastructure cost: BGI reduces the volume of water entering the sewer system by returning water to the natural water cycle. This increases the lifespan of the sewers and reduces infrastructure maintenance costs
  • Increased green space for communities and wildlife: BGI provides multiple mental and physical health benefits to communities as well as provides a sanctuary for urban wildlife and pollinators

Images and Text from Medium