Background

A community's green infrastructure is as an interconnected network of green space that conserves natural ecosystem values and functions while providing associated benefits to human populations. Many land-use forms of urban planning contribute to green infrastructure. Among them are community open spacesecological landscapesblue/green infrastructuresworking/productive landscapes, and transitional landscapes.  

 

Community Open Spaces

Landscapes for recreation, social life, and small-scale food cultivation.

Ex. Playgrounds, neighborhood parks, sports fields, plazas, recreation centers, trails / greenways, urban gardens, farmers markets.

 

Ecological Landscapes

Meadows and forests that provide habitat and other environmental benefits.

Ex. Nature parks, industrial nature parks, rapid reformesetation, successional road, roads to rivers.

 

Blue/Green Infrastructures

Landscapes that capture stormwater and clean air.

Ex. Large lakes, smaller retention ponds, infiltration parks, swales & infiltration medians, road-side ponds, green industry buffers, carbon forests.

 

Working/Productive Landscapes

Landscapes that generate new knowledge, grow energy & food, and create new urban experiences.

Ex. Research landscape, urban farm, aquaculture and hydroponics, algae-culture, energy field or forests, homesteads, campgrounds.

 

Transitional Landscapes

Temporary landscapes that clean soil and enable new forms of social life & creative displays.

Ex. Event landscapes, remediation fields or forests, art-scapes, urban meadows.

 

Plant material provided by the green industry is a critical part of the emerging discussion related to the forms of New Urbanism. The green industry has historically seen housing development as a key market channel, but the demands of urban and regional planning are shifting to meet the demands of consumers and residents for civic life:

  • promote healthy lifestyles
  • increase access to healthy foods
  • capture and clean stormwater
  • clean soil / improve air quality
  • create habitat for wildlife
  • stabilize neighborhoods
  • reduce maintenance costs
  • put vacant land to productive uses
  • generate energy
  • create jobs and job training opportunities

Ecosystem Services of Landscape Plants: A Guide for Green Industry Professionals

Joshua Knight and Dewayne L. Ingram, Horticulture