A New Place for Green Infrastructure to Benefit Cities
Cities across the country continue to seek ways to incorporate more green space into their surroundings. Upgrading playgrounds or park space with green infrastructure elements has become a popular way to achieve this, and other, city goals. The elements can be non-intrusive to play. Pavement is replaced by soil, plants, and other porous material. While aesthetically improving the city, and providing a recreational place for residents, a city can address stormwater runoff. Philadelphia has become a pioneer in green infrastructure in playgrounds. After pledging to increase green space, Philadelphia’s mayor has already begun converting an elementary school playground, replacing cracked concrete with artificial turf and underground water storage tanks. You can see the plans for the playground below. As many cities continue to face stormwater issues, finding new ways to approach the problem are important.
New York City Embraces Green Infrastructure
Another city that has accepted green infrastructure into its future plans is New York City. After their mayor also made a commitment to create more green space throughout the city, 40 school playgrounds were selected to incorporate green infrastructure into plans for an upgrade. The city has already held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a school in Brooklyn. The playground will capture nearly 500,000 gallons of water each year which will then be used to water the school’s gardens. The school’s students were involved in the planning and design process giving them ownership over their new place to play.
Private Investment in Green Infrastructure
As cities across the country continue to examine green infrastructure as an option in rectifying their problems, the discussion on how to fund the projects progresses. As parks and playgrounds have entered the discussion, so has private investment. Forbes.com has reported on a study of how effective private investment can be in funding green infrastructure. Billing practices that allow property owners to receive credit when utilizing green infrastructure exists now, some people are trying to discover how it can help support private investment. Studying 27 stormwater projects with different levels of investment, Forbes.com reports that, “… the high investment option reduced the stormwater fee by the greatest amount but also incurred the highest retrofit costs”. They hope examples of private investment in green infrastructure will become available in order to continue to study this funding opportunity.