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Benefits and Challenges of Linking Green Infrastructure and Highway Planning in the United States.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23135391     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Landscape-level green infrastructure creates a network of natural and semi-natural areas that protects and enhances ecosystem services, regenerative capacities, and ecological dynamism over long timeframes. It can also enhance quality of life and certain economic activity. Highways create a network for moving goods and services efficiently, enabling commerce, and improving mobility. A fundamentally profound conflict exists between transportation planning and green infrastructure planning because they both seek to create connected, functioning networks across the same landscapes and regions, but transportation networks, especially in the form of highways, fragment and disconnect green infrastructure networks. A key opportunity has emerged in the United States during the last ten years with the promotion of measures to link transportation and environmental concerns. In this article we examined the potential benefits and challenges of linking landscape-level green infrastructure planning and implementation with integrated transportation planning and highway project development in the United States policy context. This was done by establishing a conceptual model that identified logical flow lines from planning to implementation as well as the potential interconnectors between green infrastructure and highway infrastructure. We analyzed the relationship of these activities through literature review, policy analysis, and a case study of a suburban Maryland, USA landscape. We found that regionally developed and adopted green infrastructure plans can be instrumental in creating more responsive regional transportation plans and streamlining the project environmental review process while enabling better outcomes by enabling more targeted mitigation. In order for benefits to occur, however, landscape-scale green infrastructure assessments and plans must be in place before integrated transportation planning and highway project development occurs. It is in the transportation community's interests to actively facilitate green infrastructure planning because it creates a more predictable environmental review context. On the other hand, for landscape-level green infrastructure, transportation planning and development is much more established and better funded and can provide a means of supporting green infrastructure planning and implementation, thereby enhancing conservation of ecological function.
Daniel J Marcucci; Lauren M Jordan
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-11-8
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental management     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1432-1009     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ Manage     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-8     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7703893     Medline TA:  Environ Manage     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Geography, East Carolina University, 213 A Brewster, Greenville, NC, 27858, USA,
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