There are numerous strategies that cities can take to enhance social-ecological resilience and adapt to climate change, but one of the most popular approaches is to expand green infrastructure. These nature-based solutions are increasingly presented as a panacea for many urban challenges. Yet definitions of green infrastructure vary. Some scholars and practitioners conceptualize it more narrowly as a decentralized approach to stormwater management, including bioswales, rain gardens, etc. The US Environmental Protection Agency also classifies nonvegetated pervious pavements as green infrastructure (https://www.epa.gov/green-infrastructure/what-green-infrastructure). An alternative definition (e.g. Benedict and McMahon 2002) considers the entire network of natural and constructed vegetated areas in and surrounding a city as green infrastructure, everything from a street tree to a large conservation area. There are also those who argue for a blue-green infrastructure approach that combines water bodies and vegetation. These different definitions focus our attention on very different scales and services, which have implications for how they are managed: each of these different kinds of green infrastructure are the jurisdiction of a different city department, each with differing, and sometimes conflicting, mission statements; the public interacts with each kind of green infrastructure differently due to differing accessibility and visibility; and each kind of green infrastructure is paid for through different investment and funding mechanisms privileging specific kinds over others; just to name a few. We would like to propose an AAG panel that brings together different green infrastructure scholars to discuss the various conceptualizations and frameworks for green infrastructure.
Potential discussion questions may include:
• How do definitions of green infrastructure differ across disciplines and the theory-practice divide?
• What are the implications and tradeoffs of these different conceptualizations?
• Can we come up with a common framework to classify the various perspectives?
|Panelist||Laura Schifman U.S. Environmental Protection Agency||20|
|Panelist||Ian Mell University of Manchester||20|
|Panelist||Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman University of Maryland||20|
|Panelist||Dexter Locke Clark University||20|
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