Nearly 80 percent of Americans live in cities and metropolitan areas. Increasingly, those cities are challenged by aging water and transportation systems that are nearing or exceeding their designed capacity. A new focus on flood and other natural disaster resilience is driving city planners to leverage mixed-use infrastructure, including parks, to address civic needs while taking advantage of cost savings and other social benefits.
Leveraging Green Infrastructure
City parks can be designed to act like sponges, holding water during rain events and slowly filtering stormwater after the event has passed. Cities are using that natural capacity as green infrastructure to complement the traditional alternative of building and maintaining large underground networks of pipes and tunnels. And parks do this all while improving air quality, reducing the heat-island effect and creating close-to-home opportunities for outdoor recreation and experiences with nature.