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Green Infrastructure

gi_1Investments in so called “green” infrastructure solutions such as wetland restoration or agricultural best management practices are increasingly recognized as cost effective ways to achieve environmental quality outcomes relative to investments in “gray” infrastructure such as wastewater treatment or water filtration plants. For example, the Center for Neighborhood Technology asserts “[t]he research shows that green infrastructure measures are as effective as conventional approaches in relieving flooding, and can be installed more cheaply and quickly.” Moreover, green infrastructure is considered a lasting source of ecosystem service benefits for communities that appreciates rather than depreciates over time.

CSE and other partners have pioneered an analytical technique for quantifying the economic and financial tradeoffs between green and gray infrastructure in three decision-making contexts: (1) disaster risk reduction; (2) regulatory compliance, and (3) infrastructure investment. This technique – green vs. gray analysis (GGA) – extends conventional public infrastructure analysis models used to evaluate the cost effectiveness of technological solutions like new reservoirs by factoring the unique role wetlands, forests, riparian zones and other green infrastructure elements can play in enhancing water quality and flow or achieving other environmental objectives. GGA is used to determine whether investing in these green infrastructure options is a more cost effective approach.

JOURNAL PUBLICATIONPay for Performance: Optimizing Public Investments in Agricultural Best Management Practices in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
REPORTThe Economic Benefits of Baltimore’s Stormwater Management Plan
BLOGBaltimore’s Stormwater Management Plan Will Generate Significant Social and Economic Returnshyperlink_icon_correct
REPORTGreen Infrastructure Alternatives to the Northern Integrated Supply Project, Front Range Colorado
REPORTA Preliminary Green-Gray Analysis for the Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson Watersheds of Colorado’s Front Range
BLOGFire and Water in Colorado's Front Rangehyperlink_icon_correct
REPORTReducing Fire Risk and Sediment Yields in the Ashland Municipal Watershed, A Preliminary Green-Gray Analysis
JOURNAL PUBLICATIONSolutions Journal, “Green versus gray: nature’s solutions to infrastructure demands of the 21st century,” By John Talberth, Erin Gray, Logan Yonavjak and Todd Gartnerhyperlink_icon_correct











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