Exploring Connections Between Green Infrastructure & Healthy & Resilient Communities.
Over the past two decades researchers have increased their understanding and begun to develop the tools for quantifying the multiple benefits of living green infrastructure. Living green infrastructure technologies cover a wide range of strategies from active and passive turf to trees, wetlands, bioswales, structural soils, green walls and green roofs. Green infrastructure technologies are becoming recognized by engineers, designers, health care advocates, developers and policy makers world wide as proven and effective ways to solve multiple urban problems. Yet in North America, the many contributions of green infrastructure to our natural and built environments, as well as to human health, are not fully reflected in public policies pertaining to buildings, design practice, community planning or capital and operational investments in infrastructure.
This paper provides an overview of the literature that illustrates the connections between living green infrastructure and human health. Many of these topics will be more comprehensively presented and discussed during Grey to Green: A Conference on the Economics of Green Infrastructure Focusing on Health, which takes place August 25-26, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. This paper looks at living green infrastructure through the lens of health, largely human health, in an effort to raise awareness of these important benefits and to identify some opportunities for further research, public policy development and building design practice improvements.