BES Quarterly Research Meeting: Green Infrastructure

What’s Green Infrastructure?

The BES community will meet, along with managers and policy makers, on 19 April 2012 to discuss green infrastructure. The Baltimore City Office of Sustainability has provided this description of green infrastructure: 

As opposed to ‘gray’ infrastructure, which includes transportation and utility networks, green infrastructure is interconnected ecological systems that include natural areas such as forests and streams as well as constructed elements such as urban parks, trails, streetscapes, stormwater management practices, community gardens, and urban agriculture.
 Green infrastructure provides critical environmental functions and benefits including cleaner water, cleaner air, enhanced habitat and biodiversity. It also provides key social and economic functions such as decreased energy costs, opportunities for recreation and economic development, as well as improved health and quality of life.
Why Green Infrastructure?
We are engaging in this discussion because green infrastructure provides an excellent way to both improve the social-ecological functioning of urban ecosystems, and a platform for working with policy makers and managers.  Meeting Chair Morgan Grove has lined up an excellent roster of speakers, for the morning.  These presentations will present background on the nature of green infrastructure, the hydrological components of green infrastructure, the social and economic significance of green infrastructure, and an overview of monitoring research.
Discussions to Promote Collaboration
After lunch, the group will present existing and proposed research projects with the intent of identifying how they can connect to and improve the understanding and functioning of green infrastructure in the Baltimore Metropolitan region.  The second discussion period will focus on how BES research and education can collaborate with government agencies and non-governmental organizations with existing resources.  Follow up will explore plans for developing new resources for this important collaboration.
Importance of Green Infrastructure for BES
Green infrastructure is one of the main ways in which city-suburban-exurban systems can become more sustainable.  It is important for BES to work with green infrastructure as both a research topic and an opportunity to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life and resilience of the Baltimore socio-ecological system.
See the BES News page for the agenda for the meeting: