Grey and Green Infrastructure
Publication: NEWEA Journal - Spring 2022
An engineering and landscape architecture approach to sustainable and resilient design
Abstract | For an infrastructure project to be both sustainable and resilient, designers, communities, and stakeholder groups must consider the long-term social, economic, and environmental aspects, in addition to addressing real or potential hazards that allow the asset to remain in continuous service. While the “resiliency” of communities from climate change impacts is receiving much attention, sustainability requires that projects are also equitable, inclusive, and adaptive, protecting both our built and natural environments. Historically, engineers have relied on structural solutions, also referred to as grey infrastructure, to manage and control storms by preventing them from reaching our built environment. While these physical barriers are critical to many built environments, they often create a man-made barrier between the natural environment and communities. More recently, engineers and landscape architects have designed purpose-built green infrastructure that uses the natural environment to manage storms while providing places that benefit nature and society.
Author: Wayne E. Bates, PhD, PE, ENV SP, Tighe & Bond, Westwood, Massachusetts
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