Reigning in Emissions With Green Infrastructure

Everyone has heard the words global warming and their designation as the number one crisis facing humanity. Cities around the world have responded with a wide range of ideas targeting their own emissions. Everything from green roofs to alternative fuels and water conservation have been widely debated and implemented. Cities learn from and compete with one another around the board, which is the reason their plans need to be spread around the globe. This is the only way you, I, and city officials can learn and implement the most effective strategies in order to defeat global warming.

Of the many approaches being taken we believe greening the city is of utmost importance. By incorporating nature within city structure, cities are reversing their carbon footprint and creating a healthier place for you to live. Health bonuses come both physically and psychologically. The City of Atlanta for example is currently under construction of a Beltline project. This 22 mile loop around the city will connect over 20 parks and reclaim 1100 acres of brownfield site. Allowing greater community accessibility to sustainable transport, the Beltline will provide a gateway and act as a green connection for the city. At its finish the program will be running tours and informational sessions all along its paths, as it becomes a living and functional tourist attraction.

The City of Detroit, MI, has undertaken the implementation of “green and blue” landscape systems. The importance of restoring it's land to it's natural state, while also improving residents' quality of life serves as the basis for their mission. A complex action plan detailing strategies like carbon forests, industrial buffers, and surface lakes has been implemented. Real results have been noticed by the people. A reduction in construction, maintenance and operation costs, an increase in property values, creation of attractive neighborhoods, vacant land recapture, storm water recollection, and the creation of new jobs, have all led to a greater city government support rates, and overall better health within the city as a reach out to ecological balance is underway.

The city of El Paso is a pioneer in prioritizing green infrastructure as a way to improve the city’s appeal to business and visitors and achieve the title of the United States Most Livable City. El Paso has adopted a multifaceted approach to become one of the leading green infrastructure cities in the southwestern United States by making Public Participation the focus of their initiative to employ green infrastructure techniques in the most effective ways possible. Public Participation has proven central to El Paso’s success because it involves citizens in the decision-making process, which earns their approval and support.

How do you move the Planet Forward? Tweet us @planet_forward or contribute to the conversation with your own story.