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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Guidance Tools and Documents
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Essential Papers, Publications and Studies
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This white paper outlines the benefits of green infrastructure in the context of health, safety and the equitable distribution of resources.
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.
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.
Drawing upon the City of Melbourne’s experiences, a workbook was produced to help municipal staff successfully implement urban forest strategies.
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.