What is Green Infrastructure?
Nature provides us with an array of free functions (ecosystem services) such as the cleaning of air, cleaning water, recycling of nutrients, creating and maintaining soils, pollination, climate regulation, flood protection, ground water and carbon sequestration. The lands that provide these services are represented as our green infrastructure. These lands include forests, agricultural lands, wetlands and floodplains. If these lands are converted by development, we lose the services they provide and must replace them with costly engineered infrastructure. We also lose the additional value of food and fiber production, recreational opportunities, wildlife and other key components to our quality of life.
Green Infrastructure is defined as an interconnected network of green space that conserves natural ecosystem values and functions and provides associated benefits to human population (Benedict and McMahon, 2001)