GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE FACT SHEET
It is about looking at open-space components both public and private (parks, trails, greenways, natural undeveloped land) not as individual, discrete items, but rather to integrate them into an organized system, just as a network of roadways, utilities, WHAT IS GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE ALL ABOUT?
buildings and parking lots form the gray infrastructure of a community. This linkage allows for thinking about and dealing with open spaces as an interconnected system, recognizing that each component can affect other parts or the system itself. It also assists in the land-development process by identifying those areas that should be left undisturbed or used as open space, and also identifying areas for development.
A green infrastructure network connects ecosystems and landscapes in a system of hubs, links, and sites. The interconnection is critical in providing both landscape connectivity for ecological functions and for passage and dispersal of wildlife.
PRINCIPLES OF GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE
Principle 1: Green infrastructure should be the framework for conservation and development
Principle 2: Design and plan green infrastructure before development
Principle 3: Linkage (of open spaces) is key
Principle 4: Green infrastructure functions across multiple jurisdictions and at different scales
Principle 5: Green infrastructure is grounded in sound science and land-use planning theories and practices.
Principle 6: Green infrastructure is a critical public investment
Principle 7: Green infrastructure involves diverse stakeholders
WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE?
PARKS, TRAILS & OPEN SPACE
(Publicly or privately owned open-space corridors, managed to protect and enhance natural resources.)
(Ponding areas that collect water runoff and store it, permitting filtering and slow absorption)
(Roofs planted with gardens or vegetation)
(A low place in a tract of land that can act as a natural filtration system)
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF INTEGRATING GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE INTO THE LAND-PLANNING PROCESS?
Just as there are many benefits to green infrastructure, there are many benefits to utilizing a green infrastructure approach to conservation and development planning. Green infrastructure planning:
Recognizes and addresses the needs of both people and nature;
Provides a mechanism to balance environmental and economic factors;
Ensures that both green space and development are placed where most needed and most appropriate;
Identifies vital ecological areas and linkages prior to development in suburban and rural landscapes;
Identifies opportunities for the restoration and enhancement of naturally functioning systems in already developed areas;
Provides a broad, unifying vision for the future that diverse people and organizations can buy into;
Enables communities to create a system that is greater than the sum of its parts;
Enables conservation and development to be planned in harmony, not in opposition to one another.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
By developing and implementing a comprehensive open-space-management plan, we will take a giant leap forward in determining what areas to preserve and where to allow the various types of development for the betterment of our community. This is a prime quality-of-life issue. The plan will also assist in looking for grants and money from other funding sources, such as the state and federal governments.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT IN EL PASO?
Each bionetwork has its own particular part to play in our community. The desert lands have vibrant communities of animals and plants. From the mountain foothills to the Rio Grande’s banks, we have a variety of open spaces. We also have wetlands and lakes that are important to the survival of native and migratory animals.