We've posted video and slides from our most recent First Wednesday event on the topic of green infrastructure, something that is emerging as a cost-effective alternative for, or supplement to, gray infrastructure. You can find it here and event details are below the fold. If you can't make it to RFF events in person you can always watch them on a live stream at rff.org/live
Green Infrastructure: Using Natural Landscapes for Flood Mitigation and Water Quality Improvements
RFF First Wednesday Seminar April 4, 2012
Nature provides a wealth of ecological services: forests store carbon and clean the air; rivers provide water for drinking and harbor animal species; and wetlands purify stormwater and serve as buffers against floods. Governments around the world are increasingly recognizing that this “green infrastructure” can be a cost-effective supplement or substitute for the “gray infrastructure”—pipes, dams, levees, treatment plants—traditionally used to control flooding, purify and store water, and reduce urban stormwater runoff.
At this First Wednesday Seminar, sponsored by RFF's Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth, panelists explored what “green infrastructure” means and described how to evaluate the costs and benefits of land-use options for reducing flood damages. They also discussed the challenges of convincing stakeholders that natural systems can provide infrastructure services and complement public projects. RFF experts described a case study evaluating flood abatement options in a Wisconsin watershed, and provided some lessons learned from working to implement a payment for environmental services program in the Florida Everglades.