Four Things We Learnt at Grey to Green 2019
Four Things We Learnt at Grey to Green 2019

GIO was a sponsor and participant at the recent Grey to Green conference. We had the opportunity to learn from wide range of green infrastructure experts – we have summarized some of our key takeaways below:

  1. Naturalization can be a more effective and affordable approach to storm water management in both dessert and temperate climates. Consulting company MT Planners has been paving the way in large-scale green infrastructure projects across the world including naturalizing an old canal in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, and zoning costal green infrastructure in Nan Chang, China to reduce the impacts of typhoons. To learn more about their work, you can view their inspiring projects here: http://mtplanners.com/
  2. Urban rooftop agriculture can help beat the urban heat island effect. Research from the Climate Lab at U o f T  has found temperature reductions between 0.5 and 0.9 degrees Celsius from green roofs, and  up to a 1.3 degrees reduction for green roof agriculture. This points to the importance of incorporating green infrastructure and sustainable food strategies into approaches to help reduce the urban heat island effect in our rapidly growing cities.
  3. Green infrastructure professionals in LA are reimagining urban systems to balance the benefits humans and cities get from green infrastructure such as enhanced human health, clean water, protection from flooding and the UHI effect, but also to provide networks that enable wildlife to coexist in these urban spaces. There are designs in the works for enhancing bus shelters with green roofs to provide extra shade and act as great stop-over habitat for migratory butterflies! You can learn more about the LA River Revitalization Master Plan here.
  4. Sidewalk Labs is re-imagining the sustainable city. With their plans underway to create a hub of urban innovation on the Toronto Waterfront, Sidewalk Labs is looking to tackle many of the climate resiliency issues associated with urban growth and to utilize green infrastructure as much as possible. They have five key goals: decrease the urban heat island effect, enhance biophillia, reconnect people with Lake Ontario, design for tomorrow, and improve air quality. To learn more about the project, check out Sidewalk Toronto.

If you missed out on this year’s conference in Toronto – have no fear! Grey to Green is coming to Minnesota and Washington D.C. this fall. The call for proposals is now open. https://greytogreenconference.org/

May 17, 2019

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