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Smart Growth

Enhancing Sustainable Communities With Green Infrastructure

Image of the Enhancing Sustainable Communities With Green Infrastructure report

A Guide to Help Communities Better Manage Stormwater While Achieving Other Environmental, Public Health, Social, and Economic Benefits

Communities across the country want to protect their water quality while also getting the greatest possible benefit from every investment they make. Many are conserving, restoring, or enhancing natural areas while incorporating trees, rain gardens, vegetated roofs, and other practices that mimic natural systems into developed areas to manage rainwater where it falls.

These types of approaches, known as "green infrastructure," are an integral component of sustainable communities because they can help communities protect the environment and human health while providing other social and economic benefits, allowing communities to achieve more for their money.

Enhancing Sustainable Communities With Green Infrastructure: A Guide to Help Communities Better Manage Stormwater While Achieving Other Environmental, Public Health, Social, and Economic Benefits (2014) aims to help local governments, water utilities, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood groups, and other stakeholders integrate green infrastructure strategies into plans that can transform their communities. Many communities that want to use green infrastructure approaches face technical, regulatory, financial, and institutional obstacles that limit widespread implementation.

Diagram of 10 steps to developing a sustainable community and green infrastructure planDiagram of the publication's 10 steps to developing a sustainable community and green infrastructure plan. Click image to enlarge.This report is a guide to develop a plan that can overcome these obstacles for neighborhoods, towns, cities, and regions of all sizes. It helps stakeholders create a vision for how green infrastructure can enhance their communities—a vision that engages residents and inspires them to take action. It also directs readers to resources that provide more detailed information that can be tailored to communities' particular climate, goals, and circumstances.

This document covers:

  • Strategies that support both sustainable communities and green infrastructure.
  • How to organize stakeholders to develop a sustainable communities and green infrastructure plan.
  • The different components of a sustainable communities and green infrastructure plan.

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