Green infrastructure can be applied in many innovative ways to address environmental, economic and social challenges. In the “Case Studies” section, we’ve compiled examples showcasing the creative and successful implementation of green infrastructure strategies.

We also have a section titled “Green Infrastructure in Municipal Plans and Strategies.” Here you can find examples of plans and strategies at the municipal level that incorporate green infrastructure measures to deal with stormwater, pollution and other environmental management issues.

If you are interested in green infrastructure and would like to deepen your understanding of its many benefits, the “Essential Papers, Publications and Studies” section offers a guide to some of the foundational texts, papers, articles and studies.

If you know of an important piece of literature that should be added, please feel free to get in touch.

Communications Materials

The Green Edge

The Green Edge: How Commercial Property Investment in Green Infrastructure Creates Value (Natural Resources Defence Council)

This report examines how green infrastructure can advance the bottom line for the commercial real estate.

Step into Nature

Step Into Nature: The Benefits of Nature (Conservation Ontario)

An infographic that demonstrates the public health benefits of parks, nature, and open spaces.

LID Road Retrofits

Low Impact Development Road Retrofits: Optimizing Your Infrastructure Assets through Low Impact Development (Credit Valley Conservation)

This guide provides a table that compares the costs for LID construction (pages 6-7) based on case studies from various Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions.

Green Roof Benefits

Benefits of Green Roofs (Green Roofs for Healthy Cities)

This website outlines the public and private benefits of green roofs.

Case Studies

CVC_SWIC

Showcasing Water Through Innovation Project: Bringing Partners Together and Driving our Green Economy Through Green Infrastructure (Credit Valley Conservation)

The aim of this project was to build and strengthen community resilience by supporting LID adoption in Ontario.

EPA_GI

EPA Green Infrastructure Case Studies: Municipal Policies for Managing Stormwater with Green Infrastructure (United States Environmental Protection Agency)

A report that outlines twelve local governments who developed and implemented stormwater policies to support green infrastructure.

NC_GI

Green Infrastructure Case Studies (The Nature Conservancy)

This report contains fourteen case studies of green infrastructure projects from across the world that were implemented by major corporations. The report was compiled in order to support the white paper that followed (The Case for Green Infrastructure).

Green Infrastructure in Municipal Plans and Strategies

Towards an Eco-Asset Strategy in the Town of Gibsons (Town of Gibsons)

Through this strategy, the Town of Gibsons, BC, outlines the plan for including natural capital assets using infrastructure and financial management concepts that are systematically applied to managing engineered assets.

PHIL_CLEAN_WATER

Green City, Clean Water (City of Philadelphia)

Through this plan, the City of Philadelphia aims to reduce stormwater pollution by greening surfaces and using green stormwater strategies.

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Rainwater Management Plan and Green Infrastructure Strategy (City of Vancouver)

This strategy recommends using green infrastructure measures to treat 90% of Vancouver’s average annual rainfall.

NYC_GI

Green Infrastructure Plan (New York City)

The goal of this plan is to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSO) by managing the equivalent of stormwater generated by one inch of precipitation on 10% of the impervious surfaces in the combined sewer tributary areas of New York City.

BRAMPTON_OFFICIAL_PLAN

Official Plan (City of Brampton, Peel Region)

The plan promotes multiple types of green infrastructure (not just stormwater systems), and encourages its incorporation into strategies for transportation systems, public spaces, and building development and design.

MARKHAM_OFFICIAL_PLAN

Official Plan (City of Markham, York Region)

This plan emphasizes the incorporation of green infrastructure strategies into urban design policies and the development of sustainable communities. Their plan suggests that, in order to build complete communities and protect ecosystems, the city should support and encourage green infrastructure types such as natural heritage and parks and open spaces.

KITCHENER_OFFICIAL_PLAN

Official Plan (City of Kitchener, Waterloo Region)

The plan offers a comprehensive definition of green infrastructure and has sections devoted to the importance of Kitchener’s natural heritage and the policies that support it. The plan also emphasizes the importance of the urban forest,  and outlines measures for its protection and enhancement.

Tools

Guidance Tools and Documents

Low Impact Guidance Documents

Low Impact Development Guidance Documents (Credit Valley Conservation)

Guidance on Grey to Green Retrofits.

Green Infrastructure Guide for Water Management

Green Infrastructure Guide for Water Management (UNEP-DHI Centre for Water and Environment, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and The Nature Conservancy)

This guide addresses one of the major barriers to widespread adoption of green infrastructure solutions: a general lack of awareness and understanding. It provides a useful overview of green infrastructure’s benefits, and decodes the associated terminology. It also provides case studies of green infrastructure solutions to water management challenges.

Green Infrastructure Optimization Tool

Greater Lakes Green Infrastructure Optimization Tool (Great Lakes Commission)

This tool was developed to help users make preliminary assessments of green infrastructure options and their impacts.

Toolkits

Municipal Stormwater Infrastructure Toolkit

Municipal Green Stormwater Infrastructure Toolkit (Green Communities Canada and RAIN)

This is an online toolkit developed to share knowledge and promote collaborate on stormwater and other green infrastructure issues.

Green Infrastructure Modeling Toolkit

Green Infrastructure Modeling Toolkit (EPA)

This is a toolkit of innovative models, tools, and technologies to assist communities in the management of urban water runoff using green infrastructure.

The Landscape Performance Series Benefits Toolkit

The Landscape Performance Series Benefits Toolkit (Landscape Architecture Foundation)

This is a searchable collection of online tools and calculators to estimate landscape performance.

Cost-Benefit Calculators

The National Green Values Calculator

The National Green Values™ Calculator (Center for Neigborhood Technology) 

This tool can be used for quickly comparing the performance, costs and benefits of green infrastructure, or Low Impact Development (LID), to conventional stormwater practices.

Tree Benefits Estimator

Ontario Residential Tree Benefits Estimator (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) and Ryerson University)

This calculator predicts future benefits of a new tree and estimates the current and accumulated benefits of an existing tree.

Landscape Performance Series

i-Tree Eco (United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service)

This calculator uses detailed field data from complete inventories or randomly sampled plots to quantify urban forest structure, environmental effects, and value to communities.

Fact Sheets/Infographics

Case Study Briefs

Case Study Briefs (Landscape Architecture Foundation)

A searchable database of over 100 green infrastructure projects with quantified environmental, economic and social benefits.

Green Infrastructure for Climate Resiliency

Green Infrastructure for Climate Resiliency (EPA)

Infographic highlighting the climate change adaptation benefits of green infrastructure.

Ecological Economics

Ecological Economics 101: Value of Ecological Services in the Credit River Watershed (Conservation Ontario)

This is a fact sheet that highlights the natural benefits and services of the Credit River.

Essential Papers, Publications and Studies

LANDSCAPE_INSTITUTE_INTEGRATED_LAND_USE

Green Infrastructure: An Integrated Approach to Land Use (Landscape Institute)

This position statement paper focuses on how the landscape profession can become a leader in green infrastructure by integrating it into the planning process.

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Barcelona Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure Plan (City of Barcelona)

This plan sets targets for 2020 and outlines the benefits of green infrastructure. It is also accompanied by helpful graphics and illustrations.

SCOTLAND_GREEN_INFRASTRUCTURE_DESIGN_PLACEMAKING

Green Infrastructure Design and Placemaking (Government of Scotland)

This document defines green infrastructure, explains the benefits, and sets out strategies for incorporating it into master plans.

BANKING_ON_GREEN

Banking On Green: A Look at How Green Infrastructure Can Save Municipalities Money and Provide Economic Benefits Community-wide (American Rivers, American Society of Landscape Architects, ECONorthwest, and Water Environment Federation)

This report focuses on overall green infrastructure strategies and the best approaches for dealing with stormwater.

NDRC_GREEN_EDGE

The Green Edge: How Commercial Property in Investment Creates Value (Natural Resources Defense Council)

This report investigates the ways in which green infrastructure initiatives and practices can add economic value for the commercial real estate sector, through higher rents and property values, increased retail sales, energy and water cost savings, and other avenues. The report expresses the dollar value of these benefits over a long-term planning horizon.

ECO_SINK_SWIM

Sink, Swim or Tread Water? Adapting Infrastructure to Extreme Weather Events (Environmental Commissioner of Ontario)

This document is an excerpt from the 2014 Annual Greenhouse Gas Progress Report. It discusses green infrastructure strategies for adaptation to more frequent and severe storm events and outlines legislative responsibilities for stormwater management. The report ends with a call for the province to support proactive stormwater planning.

EU_GREEN_INFRASTRUCTURE

Building Green Infrastructure for Europe (European Union’s Commission on the Environment)

The document provides an overview of green infrastructure and its benefits, and presents examples of green infrastructure solutions being applied to environmental and social issues. The report also outlines the EU’s green infrastructure strategy, and proposes ways and  means of promoting and supporting green infrastructure projects at the policy level.

CLEAN_WATER_CASH_FLOWS

Creating Clean Water Cash Flows: Developing Private Markets for Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Philadelphia (Natural Resources Defense Council, EKO Asset Management Partners, and The Nature Conservancy) 

This issue brief focuses primarily on green infrastructure solutions for dealing with urban stormwater, runoff and flooding. The document also examines the potential for private investment in green infrastructure projects in Philadelphia using a PPP (private-public partnership) approach.

AMERICAN_RIVERS_GROWING_GREEN

Growing Green: How Green Infrastructure Can Improve Community Livability and Public Health (American Rivers)

This white paper outlines the benefits of green infrastructure in the context of health, safety and the equitable distribution of resources.

APA_GREEN_INFRASTRUCTURE_LANDSCAPE_APPROACH

Green Infrastructure: A Landscape Approach (America Planning Association)

This report explores the concept of “landscape” as it relates to green infrastructure, and addresses the implications of this idea for practitioners such as planners and landscape architects. It suggests principles that that can be used to advance green infrastructure solutions, and presents case studies of communities that are putting these principles into practice.

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Green Infrastructure and Issues in Managing Urban Stormwater (Claudia Copeland, Congressional Research Service)

This report identifies barriers to implementation of green infrastructure strategies, and suggests how the federal government could play a role in  helping municipalities overcome such challenges.

HOW_TO_GROW_AN_URBAN_FOREST

How To Grow An Urban Forest: A Ten-Step Guide to Help Councils Save Money, Time and Share Practical Knowledge (202020 Vision)

Drawing upon the City of Melbourne’s experiences, a workbook was produced to help municipal staff successfully implement urban forest strategies.

VALUE_OF_GREEN_INFRASTRUCTURE

The Value of Green Infrastructure: A Guide to Recognizing Its Economic, Environmental and Social Benefits (The Center for Neighborhood Technology and American Rivers) 

This guide explains how best to assign quantitative value to green infrastructure and its impacts.

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