Green infrastructure is defined as a an interconnected system of natural areas and open space that conserves ecosystem values, helps sustain clean air and water, and provides benefits to people and wildlife (Benedict and McMahon 2006). Green Infrastructure can be applied on the landscape scale or as an individual green design on the local scale, which could include green roofs, bio swales, and pervious pavement.
Multiple state and local partners have been utilizing a green infrastructure approach on the landscape scale in coastal Georgia. Rapid development in this region has led to the loss of natural areas, fragmentation, degradation of water resources, and increased cost of public services. A Green Infrastructure (GI) strategy is one of the best ways to protect and manage this region's diverse natural resources for present and future generations. The Georgia Forestry Commission and its partners will continue to maintain and develop GI planning systems for all coastal communities.
A proactive Green Infrastructure approach can provide numerous benefits to a community by protecting critical habitats and dwindling water resources, sustaining forest resources, and allowing natural systems to remain functional, in turn saving communities millions of dollars.
Coastal Georgia Green Infrastructure guidelines, maps, and tools
- Georgia Model Urban Forest helps organize community support and plan development with green infrastructure in mind. The book is divided into four chapters: Why an Urban Forest, Space for the Urban Forest, Building an Urban Forest and Measuring Success.
- Green Infrastructure: A Landscape Approach (Report Number 571) from the American Planning Association
- Low Impact Development: a design manual for urban areas, University of Arkansas Community Design Center
- Stormwater to Street Trees, EPA.gov