Congressional Hearing Highlights Green Infrastructure Benefits

Innovative design techniques can provide a cost-effective and sustainable alternative for overburdened communities


Washington, D.C., September 30, 2010 – Green infrastructure techniques like green roofs, permeable pavers, rain gardens and other design approaches can provide significant economic and ecological benefits for communities facing overburdened and crumbling infrastructure, according to David Yocca, FASLA, who testified before Congress today on behalf of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

Green infrastructure, which utilizes the natural systems of trees, plants and soil to clean and store stormwater, can provide a cost-effective alternative to installing and repairing grey infrastructure techniques like traditional pipes and sewers.

“Integrated green infrastructure strategies combine leading-edge, living technology with local design, craft, and skill to restore our neighborhoods and cities, to be healthier, more beautiful and ultimately more economically and ecologically sustainable over time,” said Yocca.  

In addition, Yocca’s testimony during a hearing before the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee described how green infrastructure transformed the City of Chicago.

“What we are seeing in Chicago is the creation of an industry that did not exist 10 years ago.  We’re not only creating sustainable buildings, alleys, streets and neighborhoods, we are creating good paying local jobs that capitalize on the talents and expertise of local workers,” said Yocca. “Today, the City of Chicago is currently one of the shining examples of how greening a city has yielded tremendous ecological and economic benefits.” 

He also described some of the other advantages beyond stormwater management for green streets projects like downtown West Union, Iowa.

“The benefits of green streets extend beyond curbside appeal,” said Yocca. “Small businesses in West Union will directly benefit from the streetscape improvements through increased foot traffic and retail sales, higher real estate values, and lower utility costs, which will also attract new businesses downtown.”

Learn more about the Campaign for Green Infrastructure.


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