News

Infrastructure Week Touts the Benefits of Green Design

May 14 through May 21 was a busy week-plus in Washington, D.C., with Congress working on important pieces of legislation and the many events in conjunction with the 6th annual National Infrastructure Week. Infrastructure Week serves to draw attention to and to educate the public and government officials about the importance of infrastructure to the economy, communities, and the environment.

2018-05-29

May 14 through May 21 was a busy week-plus in Washington, D.C., with Congress working on important pieces of legislation and the many events in conjunction with the 6th annual National Infrastructure Week. Infrastructure Week serves to draw attention to and to educate the public and government officials about the importance of infrastructure to the economy, communities, and the environment. More than 100 events were held across America including hearings, briefings, education sessions, and receptions on green infrastructure and water resources. This year, ASLA joined more than 300 national, state, and local level organizations, government agencies, and businesses, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, National Recreation and Parks Association, AARP, and others, as affiliates of Infrastructure Week.

The ASLA government affairs team, working with coalition partners, participated in a hearing held inside the U.S. Capitol and attended by congressional staff titled “Water, Parks and Cities: Partners in Green Infrastructure.” The panelists – Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Kathryn Lovell, Commissioner of the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management Kishia Powell, and Deputy Mayor of Lacey (WA) Cynthia Pratt – discussed the importance of parks as tools in managing water. Panelists highlighted examples from their cities that underscored the benefits of green infrastructure in parks, agreeing that not only do green approaches save money but they also mitigate flooding and create more resilient and lasting parks and cityscapes. 

Resilience remains the buzzword on Capitol Hill regarding infrastructure, especially when talking about projects on America’s coastal and inland waterways. The importance of water infrastructure was apparent by the many events on this subject including one briefing bringing together a panel of executives from DuPont, Microsoft, and Vermeer. The panelists discussed the power of water and how many corporations were looking at sustainability and new ways to use, reuse, and manage water safely and sustainably. Many examples given involved using green and natural infrastructure for more effective water management.

In keeping with the spotlight on the use of natural materials in water infrastructure projects, on Thursday, May 17, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a second legislative hearing on the reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). This legislation reauthorizes the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Division and funds many new projects across the nation. The Senate’s bill includes provisions promoting, authorizing, and funding the use of green infrastructure including language from the Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act championed by ASLA during last month’s Advocacy Day. This bill was passed by the committee on May 22 and sent to the full Senate for consideration. 

Infrastructure Week could not have come at a more opportune time as Congress renews its concentration on WRDA and fiscal year 2019 spending bills. This helps ASLA as we continue to advocate for legislation that promotes the use of green infrastructure, which will ensure more projects for landscape architects.

Contact

Karen T. Grajales
Manager, Public Relations 
tel: 1-202-216-2371
ktgrajales@asla.org
@ktgrajales

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