Thoughts on Essential Value in Green Stormwater Infrastructure
For those of you who have heard me speak at conferences or lectures, you know how passionate I am about the idea that we, as designers, must continue to push the idea that high quality of life, resiliency, and sustainability are not just buzzwords to be used for marketing. We are accountable to our communities and humanity to design and build infrastructure that makes these characteristics and qualities ESSENTIAL, and not just “added” value.
If you think about it, any piece of infrastructure is already a “place”…
1. a particular position or point in space.
We should be focused on making infrastructure into places… that are attractive, enjoyable, durable, and of course - functional.
Younger generations clearly appreciate quality in the places they choose to live – by moving to those places that value quality in place. This is why cities with a perceived high quality of urban life are thriving. If for no other reason, we should all strive to provide infrastructure solutions that we are proud of, that lasts, and that inspires future generations - so that all of our cities and towns thrive.
The “new” paradigm that our firm believes in is actually really old. We look as far back as early civilization to be inspired by infrastructure designs that (thousands of years later) are still beautiful, and still standing! We can no-longer afford to build infrastructure that serves only one purpose, or only lasts as long as its designer’s career. Stream Landscape Architecture collaborates with exceptional design and engineering partners to be leaders in planning and designing truly multi-functional Green Stormwater Infrastructure solutions like Denver’s Ultra Urban Green Infrastructure Guide.
Our infrastructure should enhance the context, improve quality of life, celebrate achievements in civilization, and generate community pride.
Here is a quick read from Stormwater Magazine on one viewpoint on how Green Infrastructure provides value on many levels. From the Author: “… pointing out the benefits not just for water quality, but for the economy and for cities as well—saving money for developers, in some cases benefiting investors, and creating more green space in neighborhoods.”
Jesse Clark is the founder and managing partner of Stream Landscape Architecture. He is a Colorado Professional Landscape Architect with nearly 20 years of experience in public urban and open space environments and a focus on design and planning for water resources, stream channel reclamation, green infrastructure, municipal parks, and recreation facilities. He has been invited on numerous occasions to present on a variety of topics including Integrating Waterways with Recreation Facilities, Replicating Natural Processes in Shoreline Stabilization, and Creative Stormwater Infrastructure Solutions for Urban Areas.