Sustainable Urban Design: Educator’s Toolkit for Project-Based Learning, page 2 of 20

A photo of a bioswale filled with grasses
A bioswale in Seattle, Washington © Paul Joseph Brown

Introduction: What is Green Infrastructure?

Green infrastructure is the use of natural materials like vegetation and soil as well as other elements to restore natural processes. For example, urban stormwater runoff is one of the most vexing environmental problems in urban areas because of the abundance of impervious surfaces like pavement and roofs. Natural materials can slow down and filter polluted urban runoff before it makes its way into our streams, lakes, and other bodies of water. The use of green infrastructure is integral to the creation of sustainable cities.

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