Planning for longstanding sustainability: Addressing the downfalls of green infrastructure planning
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Cities worldwide face issues associated with sewer overflows, pollution, and the adverse effects of extreme weather patterns. Green infrastructure (GI) comprises natural vegetative systems and green technologies that collectively provide economic, environmental, and social benefits to communities. These natural assets can be harnessed to respond to these pressing problems and become an essential practice for the future of urban planning. This study analyzes existing barriers facing GI practices and from these barriers, proposes solutions on how to address these challenges in practice. This research comprises a literature review, semistructured interviews, and a case study analysis to identify several solutions to address the barriers facing the GI practice. The literature shows that GI is currently not as widespread as standard “grey infrastructure” practice, often making it an afterthought in city planning. Unlike grey infrastructure, which is an engineered system with just one primary function, GI provides co-benefits and a wide variety of ecosystem services by expanding green space. The case study analysis outlines a successful urban wetland project, demonstrating the value of urban wetlands (natural assets) and how they can be utilized as a sustainable and affordable practice for stormwater management. The results of the literature, semi-structured interviews, and case study analysis uncover four solutions to address the most pressing challenges within the GI practice.