Parks have long played an integral role in community landscapes. As open green space becomes more scarce, public park agencies have new opportunity and reasons to work with other departments and agencies to utilize protected public green space in innovative ways. Designing new or existing parks to manage stormwater using green infrastructure principles is an ideal way to realize many of these benefits. Green stormwater infrastructure installations can be used to revitalize existing parks or enhance the design and functionality of new parks. Parks provide ideal opportunities for green infrastructure as they are often already highly visible, multifunctional public spaces that typically include green elements. The use of green infrastructure has increased over the last decade as knowledge of its benefits has grown. Incorporating green infrastructure into parks can bring wide-reaching improvements to neighborhoods. Focusing green infrastructure-based park development and redevelopment efforts in underserved areas where the need is often the greatest will ensure the impact has social equity benefits as well as environmental and economic value. Combining green stormwater infrastructure into park retrofits and new park development with a goal of increasing social equity can help ensure that open space is used to its full potential by providing multiple environmental and social benefits and helping cities grow or revitalize more equitably. Creating new highperformance public spaces by adding green infrastructure elements to existing and new parks is not without social and economic impacts. In some cases, such infrastructure can contribute to environmental gentrification. Care must be taken beginning in the initial conceptual design, through planning stages, that these investments do not lead to gentrification that negatively impacts existing communities. This Resource Guide for Planning, Designing and Implementing Green Infrastructure in Parks builds on the success of park and green infrastructure initiatives throughout the United States. It provides basic principles, inspiration, and ideas that can help planners, designers, and decision-makers equitably integrate green stormwater infrastructure into parks and park systems across the country.
This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.