Climate change is a global challenge that will impact all of us. There are many ways that individuals, companies and governments can reduce our carbon footprint and mitigate climate change, and global infrastructure development could play a key role in how we approach the issue.
Ecological infrastructure is a design principle
that integrates nature into our human-made landscapes. It can help sequester carbon from the atmosphere, balance ecosystems, improve water quality, and provide food security for people who live near it. In this post, we'll explore some of the benefits of ecological infrastructure and why it's important to invest in this natural solution to climate change.
What is Ecological Infrastructure?
Ecological infrastructure has many benefits to both humans and the natural world and can be used to create healthier ecosystems by providing more natural habitats for wildlife or creating new areas of vegetation that naturally store carbon.
There are various ways to use ecological infrastructure. Two of the most popular methods are green roofs and wetlands restoration projects. Green roofs are rooftop gardens that can provide insulation for buildings, reduce storm water runoff, and save energy costs by decreasing air conditioning needs in buildings where they currently exist.
Wetlands restoration projects can help filter polluted water runoff before it reaches rivers or streams, improve water quality downstream, and provide new habitats for wildlife where they are presently absent.
Ecological infrastructure is necessary because it enables small and large scale approaches to protecting the natural resources of local communities. Examples could be installing litter traps in streams, fencing areas off from human use for wildflower regeneration, digging ponds and adding reed beds, to building tunnels or bridges that allow wildlife to pass under and over freeways.
Why Invest in Ecological Infrastructure?
Ecological infrastructure often goes under-appreciated. It's becoming more important to understand the benefits of this type of infrastructure and how it can help us create more sustainable cities, such a by reducing stormwater runoff by 75 percent, which has major implications for increasing fresh water availability.
The success of ecological infrastructure is dependent on many factors, but one thing is clear: Ecological projects are good investments. They have the potential to create jobs, boost property values, increase property tax revenues, and ultimately make our cities more sustainable and pleasurable to live in.
Director of Ecology