Green Infrastructure Principles

Planning, Design and Implementation

Principle 1:
Identify and protect green infrastructure before development.

Green infrastructure needs to be identified and protected in advance of land development due to the high cost of restoration and the difficulty of creating human-made systems that function as well as natural systems. Identifying where green infrastructure is needed and desired will aid in public and private protection of critical resources.

Principle 2:
Engage diverse people and organizations in your green infrastructure initiative, obtaining input from representatives of different professions and sectors.

To be successful, Green Infrastructure initiatives must excite and engage many people. Just like built infrastructure systems are planned and implemented through an open participation process, Green Infrastructure systems must be planned and implemented involving public input and incorporating the comments and issues of citizens, community organizations, and private landowners.

Principle 3:
Recognize that linkage is key, for connecting natural areas and features and for connecting people and programs.

The desired outcome for all Green Infrastructure initiatives is the creation of a network of green spaces that maintains vital ecological processes, wildlife populations, and human health. Just like the nation’s interstate, state, local and private roads are designed holistically to create a functional transportation system, we need to design Green Infrastructure holistically, creating physically connected green space systems through the protection and restoration of vital ecological areas and linkages.

Principle 4:
Design green infrastructure systems that function at different scales, across political boundaries, and through diverse landscapes.

Our nation’s transportation, power, communication and other gray infrastructure systems are designed to connect across multiple jurisdictions and incorporate facilities that function at different scales. Likewise, we need to design Green Infrastructure systems strategically to connect across urban, suburban, rural and wilderness landscapes and incorporate green space elements and functions at the state, regional, community and parcel scales.

Principle 5:
Ground green infrastructure activities in sound science and land-use planning theories and practices.

Copyright © 2013 National Association of Regional Councils