Cities Alive: The Future of Green Infrastructure

Tipton_PlanWest-Green-InfrastructureIf you follow the construction industry you know that green is the new gold. As well as LEED bronze, silver and platinum.

Green building, which not long ago conjured images of hippie architects and wealthy eccentrics, has gone from niche to mainstream as owners, designers and builders have recognized the benefits of “going green.”

This past month, global engineer firm Arup released a report entitled Cities Alive, which discusses how green infrastructure planning and development can improve more than just the aesthetics and livability of cities but the very idea of the city itself. The report makes five key suggestions with significant implications on the future design of cities:

  1. Recognition of ‘urban green’ as more than an aesthetic consideration – it’s a fundamental part of an urban ‘ecosystem’ which improves social interaction and physical and mental health;
  2. Making landscapes work harder, for multiple end-users and to improve climate change resilience, through a multi-functional design approach;
  3. Incorporate design creativity to deliver a green city ecosystem – from both city-wide strategic projects down to more imaginative uses of space within the layers of a city;
  4. Capitalize on advances in technology to measure the value that nature delivers through ecosystems services which can optimize the planning and design of urban space to meet future demands; and
  5. Use of an integrated approach to delivery that better links and connects policy to transgress ‘silo-driven’ cultures and achieve long-term benefits.

Here’s one of the graphic images from the report:

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 11.01.46 PM
Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 11.02.10 PM

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