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 Author: lalalynda
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 4:26 pm 
When you hear the word "infrastructure" most of us think of roads, sidewalks, bridges, pipes, buildings. Those are all examples of the infrastructure, the "bones" of a community. Over the past 10-20 years, researchers and experimenters have been working to use materials like rocks, earth, and plants to develop infrastructure features to deal with municipal issues like flooding, storm-water, drought, and fire. Using natural materials to develop living system structures to deal with environmental issues is the field of Green Infrastructure.

The National Science Foundation has been awarding some serious money to university researchers, especially in the areas of civil engineering and urban design and planning, to run many-year-long projects on Green Infrastructure effectiveness. Their findings by and large -- Green infrastructure systems are highly effective, and are often much more economical than the traditional "gray infrastructure" (so named because it is usually made of concrete).

One of the biggest proponents of Green Infrastructure is the Environmental Protection Agency, where a great deal of information and research can be accessed.
https://www.epa.gov/water-research/epa-science-matters-newsletter-green-infrastructure-research

As a previous university faculty member, I was really pleased to read about the competitions funded and run by the EPA for student engagement. Really intriguing outcomes:
https://www.epa.gov/green-infrastructure/2015-campus-rainworks-challenge

In the Town of Silver City we have a number of plans we use for our project actions. Many of them are explicit about more sustainable and resilient approaches to issues we know we will be facing over the next decades (e.g. the Water Conservation plan, the Urban Forestry plan, the Sustainability plan). So begin to listen for the term Green Infrastructure -- it is important on a number of levels.


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