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Integrating Green Infrastructure into Regional Planning 2010 APA Conference New Orleans, LA April 12, 2010
Speakers State of the Practice & Green Infrastructure Concepts Don Kostelec, AICP;  Transpo Group, Asheville, NC Linking Lands & Communities in the Land-of-Sky Region Linda Giltz, AICP;  Land-of-Sky Regional Council, Asheville Jacksonville Collector and Green Streets Plan Don Kostelec substituting for Chris Lukasina
Objectives Appreciate how a regional GI network/plan can be used and integrated with other regional and local plans and practices. Know state-of-the-practice techniques  Understand the value in assessing and identifying green infrastructure at a regional, landscape scale. Gain insight on what to consider if you want to undertake similar projects.
Being Green is Contextual Not all things are as they appear Some bad may come as a result of a lot of good Elected officials don’t like these types of tradeoffs & uncertainties Planners need to understand the good/bad and the tradeoffs to be effective
Defining Green Infrastructure - Natural Environment Green Infrastructure is a region’s Natural Life Support System – an interconnected network of land and water that contributes to the health, economic well being & quality of life for communities & people.
Defining Green Infrastructure - Natural Environment A GI Network may include: Natural areas Public and private conservation lands Farmlands and lands managed for forestry Outdoor recreation areas and trails Cultural resources and sites GI networks exist at various scales (parcel, community, regional)
Defining Green Infrastructure - Built Environment Green infrastructure is a way for municipalities, developers, engineers and planner to provide for urban infrastructure that supports and improves the region’s natural resources, including: Land, Water, Forests, Air, Etc.
Defining Green Infrastructure - Built Environment A GI Network may include: Reduced impervious structures Stream buffer requirements Stormwater management practices that treat water at its source Street design that promotes efficient transportation  (e.g. connectivity policies) Provides for safe travel by pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users.  Again, GI networks exist at various scales (parcel, community, regional)
Green Infrastructure Policies There is a direct correlation between land use patterns, the way a site is developed and environmental degradation. Well-planned growth using good site design and development practices can restore and prevent environmental degradation and enhance community character.  RI Department of Environmental Management
Characteristics of Policy/Regulations Regulations are often developed with no research base. Regulations are often developed as an emotional response to some phenomena. Regulations are often imposed by layers of cumbersome structure. Regulations have many benefits including protecting the health, safety and general welfare of the public.
Characteristics of Policy/Regulations Regulations serve as a “bar” or standard for the regulator. Regulations often impose maximums. Regulations often impose minimums (e.g. EPA, federal). Regulations that are vague sometimes allow environmental initiatives
Impervious Surfaces
Impervious Surfaces
Typical Language in an Ordinance “All built-upon areas shall be designed and located to minimize stormwater runoff impacts to the receiving waters and minimize concentrated stormwater flow.” Ideal? Too vague? Too restrictive? Don’t know?
Impacts of Stormwater Urban stormwater contributes to: 13% of impaired rivers and streams; 21% of impaired lakes; 46% of impaired estuaries; 55% of impaired ocean shorelines Stormwater BMP Maintenance & Inspection
Impacts of Stormwater Addressed through: Controlling stormwater runoff Low impact development techniques Green architectural techniques Green parking lots
Street Connectivity as a Green Infrastructure practice Cities are looking at a host of transportation, land use, energy, environmental and sustainability policy issues and considering new measurement techniques: ,[object Object]
Concurrency Program Refinements
VMT and GHG per Capita Reduction,[object Object]
Street Connectivity Policies
Connectivity between new/existing developed lands
Non-motorized public accessways and limiting cul-de-sacs
Grid-based standards for streets (500 feet ) and Non-motorized (330 feet) – emphasis on smaller block lengths
Developing connectivity metrics ,[object Object]
Systems Connectivity is Important Recent academic studies identified four land use and transportation factors associated with walking and cycling, and the resulting reduction in VMT: Density: residential units within a specified area Destinations: grocery stores, restaurant, retail, schools Distance: to key destinations Route: smaller blocks, better sidewalks    The optimization of routes in relations to these factors can help reduce VMT by as much as 35%, with similar reductions in vehicle energy consumption and emissions.
Achieving VMT Capita Reduction Research conducted in Seattle area by C. Lee and Anne Moudon (University  of Washington), 2006:  Quantifying Land Use and Urban Form Correlates of Walking - 2 % - 4 % - 5% Measures of connectivity helps indicate transportation-efficient land uses that yield lower VMT and GHG per capita
What is Route Directness Index? A B straight-line distance “A” actual route distance “B” RDI = A  /  B

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Integrating Green Infrastructure into Regional Planning

  • 1. Integrating Green Infrastructure into Regional Planning 2010 APA Conference New Orleans, LA April 12, 2010
  • 2. Speakers State of the Practice & Green Infrastructure Concepts Don Kostelec, AICP; Transpo Group, Asheville, NC Linking Lands & Communities in the Land-of-Sky Region Linda Giltz, AICP; Land-of-Sky Regional Council, Asheville Jacksonville Collector and Green Streets Plan Don Kostelec substituting for Chris Lukasina
  • 3. Objectives Appreciate how a regional GI network/plan can be used and integrated with other regional and local plans and practices. Know state-of-the-practice techniques Understand the value in assessing and identifying green infrastructure at a regional, landscape scale. Gain insight on what to consider if you want to undertake similar projects.
  • 4. Being Green is Contextual Not all things are as they appear Some bad may come as a result of a lot of good Elected officials don’t like these types of tradeoffs & uncertainties Planners need to understand the good/bad and the tradeoffs to be effective
  • 5. Defining Green Infrastructure - Natural Environment Green Infrastructure is a region’s Natural Life Support System – an interconnected network of land and water that contributes to the health, economic well being & quality of life for communities & people.
  • 6. Defining Green Infrastructure - Natural Environment A GI Network may include: Natural areas Public and private conservation lands Farmlands and lands managed for forestry Outdoor recreation areas and trails Cultural resources and sites GI networks exist at various scales (parcel, community, regional)
  • 7. Defining Green Infrastructure - Built Environment Green infrastructure is a way for municipalities, developers, engineers and planner to provide for urban infrastructure that supports and improves the region’s natural resources, including: Land, Water, Forests, Air, Etc.
  • 8. Defining Green Infrastructure - Built Environment A GI Network may include: Reduced impervious structures Stream buffer requirements Stormwater management practices that treat water at its source Street design that promotes efficient transportation (e.g. connectivity policies) Provides for safe travel by pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users. Again, GI networks exist at various scales (parcel, community, regional)
  • 9. Green Infrastructure Policies There is a direct correlation between land use patterns, the way a site is developed and environmental degradation. Well-planned growth using good site design and development practices can restore and prevent environmental degradation and enhance community character. RI Department of Environmental Management
  • 10. Characteristics of Policy/Regulations Regulations are often developed with no research base. Regulations are often developed as an emotional response to some phenomena. Regulations are often imposed by layers of cumbersome structure. Regulations have many benefits including protecting the health, safety and general welfare of the public.
  • 11. Characteristics of Policy/Regulations Regulations serve as a “bar” or standard for the regulator. Regulations often impose maximums. Regulations often impose minimums (e.g. EPA, federal). Regulations that are vague sometimes allow environmental initiatives
  • 14. Typical Language in an Ordinance “All built-upon areas shall be designed and located to minimize stormwater runoff impacts to the receiving waters and minimize concentrated stormwater flow.” Ideal? Too vague? Too restrictive? Don’t know?
  • 15. Impacts of Stormwater Urban stormwater contributes to: 13% of impaired rivers and streams; 21% of impaired lakes; 46% of impaired estuaries; 55% of impaired ocean shorelines Stormwater BMP Maintenance & Inspection
  • 16. Impacts of Stormwater Addressed through: Controlling stormwater runoff Low impact development techniques Green architectural techniques Green parking lots
  • 17.
  • 18.
  • 20.
  • 23. Non-motorized public accessways and limiting cul-de-sacs
  • 24. Grid-based standards for streets (500 feet ) and Non-motorized (330 feet) – emphasis on smaller block lengths
  • 25.
  • 26. Systems Connectivity is Important Recent academic studies identified four land use and transportation factors associated with walking and cycling, and the resulting reduction in VMT: Density: residential units within a specified area Destinations: grocery stores, restaurant, retail, schools Distance: to key destinations Route: smaller blocks, better sidewalks   The optimization of routes in relations to these factors can help reduce VMT by as much as 35%, with similar reductions in vehicle energy consumption and emissions.
  • 27. Achieving VMT Capita Reduction Research conducted in Seattle area by C. Lee and Anne Moudon (University of Washington), 2006: Quantifying Land Use and Urban Form Correlates of Walking - 2 % - 4 % - 5% Measures of connectivity helps indicate transportation-efficient land uses that yield lower VMT and GHG per capita
  • 28. What is Route Directness Index? A B straight-line distance “A” actual route distance “B” RDI = A / B
  • 29. Before After Impacted Parcels Route Directness Index Using ViaCityTM 0.58 0.62 1,115 Intersection Density 55.9 56.0 N/A Link-Node Ratio 1.09 1.10 N/A
  • 30. Example RDI - Existing Conditions Shared-Use Path Connections
  • 31. Using RDI to Test New Project / Plan Shared-Use Path Connections
  • 32. RDI is Sensitive to Critical Street Design Sensitive to Block Length Shared-Use Path Connections Sensitive to Cul-de-Sac Length 305 ft 330ft
  • 33. Integrating Green Infrastructure into Regional Planning 2010 APA Conference New Orleans, LA April 12, 2010

Editor's Notes

  1. Station 31 Example, City of CharlotteStudy area is 2.5 mile radius from station (RDI and ID)Link-Node Ratio results from study by City of CharlotteImpacted parcels are those with RDI change greater than 0.20