Tony Matthews and colleagues write in The Conversation (26.4.16) about the environmental and social benefits which can be gained by incorporating 'green infrastructure' initiatives into city planning and development processes.
'Urban planners are wary of green infrastructure, although they generally understand its benefits, as our recent Conversation article showed. But green infrastructure delivery can be achieved relatively simply through existing planning processes.
'Green infrastructure refers to standalone and strategically networked environmental features designed for environmental, social and economic benefits. Examples include permeable surfaces, green walls, green roofs and street trees.
'Benefits of green infrastructure include reduced urban heat, lower building energy demand and improved storm-water management. There may be drawbacks, but these can often be mitigated through good design. Issues include maintenance costs, tree roots, bushfire hazard and power-line interference.
'Urban planners are increasingly asked to create and deliver urban greening strategies. So how does green infrastructure delivery fit within the capabilities and remit of planning?'