Green & Clean: Parks as Water Infrastructure

Urban parks serve as important spaces for recreation and relaxation, while also reducing heat islands, serving as habitat and improving wellness. But they can also do more. As we’ve written about before, by combining engineering, landscape architecture and urban design, they can also serve important and cost-effective water management functions. The Trust for Public Land¬†expanded on the potential benefits of this green & blue combination in a new report: City Parks, Clean Water. Exploring the opportunities, challenges and issues to consider in employing parks as storm water infrastructure, the report also details five contemporary examples of parks that have succeeded¬†in this role. Integrating green and blue infrastructure is not without it’s challenges; it’s important to measure soil density and storm water pollution, and to recognize existing park uses, but such an approach can also reduce water pollution, save millions in infrastructure spending, enhance parks as amenities and catalyze nearby development. Perhaps most importantly, enhancing land use efficiency by combining functions underlines the value of further integrating distinct yet related city-making fields. Better cities result from smarter processes.

Mitchell Reardon

Mitchell Reardon is the TH!NK by IBI blog curator, a land use planner and urban experimenter. His interdisciplinary work centres on people and how they live, work and move through the city. Mitchell is enjoying life in Vancouver, after 6 years of living and working in Stockholm, Sweden. Catch up with him on Twitter: @MitchellReardon

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