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Green infrastructure: how nature can improve urban living

Nature is not only rural; and innovation can and should include nature. To ensure a sustainable future, the world must shift to green infrastructure, combining nature and innovation. Green infrastructure refers to using natural resources to provide various benefits, including climate adaptation, improved air and water quality, and safeguarding biodiversity. These solutions involve the protection, management, and enhancement of natural systems to create more sustainable and resilient communities and ecosystems. Examples of green infrastructure include green roofs, urban parks, rain gardens, green streets, green walls, and urban forests. DGB Group believes that only through concerted action across multiple sectors can we set the stage for long-lasting change for the better within the environment and the global society. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of green infrastructure solutions.

The surprising benefits of green infrastructure_visual 1Aerial photo from a drone of a city park with a walking path and green zone trees.

Climate adaptation

One of the key benefits of green infrastructure is its ability to help mitigate the impacts of adverse climatic developments. By incorporating natural systems such as green roofs, rain gardens, and urban forests, green infrastructure can reduce the urban heat island effect and improve stormwater management. 

These methods help prevent flooding, reduce soil erosion, and enhance water quality in urban areas. More specifically, such approaches sequester carbon, thereby reducing carbon emissions.

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Improved air and water quality

Another benefit of green infrastructure is improved air and water quality. Trees and other vegetation absorb and filter pollutants, reducing the levels of harmful substances in the air and water. The long-term benefit is improved public health, as exposure to pollutants can cause respiratory problems and other health issues. Certain water management systems reduce the amount of stormwater runoff that enters streams and rivers, thereby improving water quality and reducing the risk of flooding. 

Safeguarding biodiversity

Green infrastructure can also safeguard biodiversity by providing a habitat for various plant and animal species. Green corridors and connecting natural areas maintain and enhance the diversity of species in urban areas. Green corridors are linear patches of green space that create a network of interconnected habitats for wildlife and vegetation. They include parks, gardens, and green roofs and serve as pathways for wildlife to move between habitats, increasing the genetic diversity of populations and promoting ecological resilience. 

Green corridors support pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, and provide habitat for birds and other wildlife. They also provide a range of benefits to humans, such as improved air and water quality, reduced urban heat island effects, and increased opportunities for recreation and relaxation. 

The surprising benefits of green infrastructure_visual 2Road traversed by wildlife crossing forming a safe natural corridor bridge for animals to migrate between conservancy areas.

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Economic advantages

Besides these environmental benefits, green infrastructure can also provide economic benefits. By reducing the need for traditional infrastructure, such as stormwater pipes and treatment plants, green infrastructure lowers costs for municipalities and taxpayers. An indirect benefit includes a possible increase in property values, the attraction of more businesses in the area, and the creation of new jobs in fields such as landscaping and conservation.

DGB’s outlook: the future is innovation

Green infrastructure offers a range of benefits, including climate adaptation, improved air and water quality, safeguarded biodiversity, and economic benefits. By incorporating natural systems into urban planning and development, communities can create more sustainable and resilient environments for future generations. At DGB, we understand how closely intertwined a flourishing nature and a prosperous society are. That is why we design and develop our projects to be to the benefit of all.

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