By Tracy Jackson
Director, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
All around North America, cities are shifting from ‘grey to green’ approaches to developing and renewing their infrastructure. Green infrastructure involves the use of living systems such as green roofs and walls, urban forests, wetlands, porous paving systems and raingardens as well as supportive technologies such as engineered soils and water storage and transportation systems. Extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy are creating multibillion dollar opportunities to invest in green infrastructure solutions.
Public and private decision makers are investing and reinvesting in grey infrastructure in a manner that delivers the greatest overall value for money and increasingly, are looking to living green infrastructure technologies for practical solutions to challenges such as water management, local job creation, urban heat island, climate change and improved quality of life.
Living green infrastructure approaches can complement traditional grey infrastructure, and in some cases offer totally new solutions, with multiple, stacking benefits for taxpayers and all citizens.
Given the widespread need to examine new ways of addressing the growing deficit in grey infrastructure, generate new employment opportunities, and deliver multiple public benefits, the time is right to focus on a conference that brings together leading thinkers and practitioners from across North America who are working on living green infrastructure – with a focus on design practice, economic valuation, the private business case, the public business case and the role of supportive policies and practices.