2/14 press release
News Release

February 14, 2002
Contact: Allison Smiley
               202-332-7000

Green Infrastructure Trend Visible in Communities Nationwide

Washington DC -- The Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse today announced the release of a new report "Green Infrastructure: Smart Conservation for the 21st Century" calling for states and communities to make green infrastructure an integral part of local, regional and state plans and policies. "What communities are telling us is that in the long run it is much smarter and cheaper to invest in green infrastructure." said Allison Smiley, Executive Director, Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse. The report introduces green infrastructure as a strategic approach to land conservation that is critical to the success of smart growth initiatives. The Conservation Fundís Director of the Conservation Leadership Network Mark Benedict said, "Just as growing communities need to upgrade and expand their built infrastructure (roads, sewers, utilities, etc), so too they need to upgrade and expand their green infrastructure - the network of open space, woodlands, wildlife habitat, parks and other natural areas that sustains clean air, water and natural resources and enriches our quality of life."  The report can be viewed at http://www.sprawlwatch.org/green

Green infrastructure is smart conservation that addresses the ecological, social and economic impacts of sprawl and the accelerated consumption and fragmentation of open land. The report was written by Mark Benedict and Ed McMahon of The Conservation Fund, a non-profit land conservation organization and published by the Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse 

The Conservation Fundís Vice President Ed McMahon added, "Green Infrastructure can even help to reduce opposition to development by providing predictability and certainty to local and statewide land conservation efforts.  When people think all land is up for grabs, they often oppose development everywhere.  On the other hand, when communities have assurance that special places will be saved, they become more amenable to accommodating new development in other places.Ē  

Green infrastructure differs from conventional approaches to open space planning because it looks at conservation values and actions in concert with land development, growth management and built infrastructure planning. 

The report argues that successful land conservation in the 21st century will be more proactive and less reactive and better integrated with efforts to manage growth and development.

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