by RF Young
Journal of the American Planning Association 77(4):368-3812011
Green infrastructure (GI) is considered vital to reducing the environmental damage and social inequity of urban life. Because most GI projects are at a smaller scale, however, they are perhaps less successful at effecting positive change. At the same time, urban planners have less experience in developing citywide GI projects. This study considered nine large-scale tree planting initiatives across the U.S. to better understand the successes and challenges related to planting, stewardship, business, and outreach. To begin, ideal planning elements of such projects were identified from the literature. Next, key stakeholders in each of the cities were asked multiple-choice and open-ended questions to understand what they perceived as successes, failures, and opportunities for improvement. A wide range of strategies were found from grass-roots to highly institutionalized efforts. The most successful programs were those with solid agency-level support and institutionalized, diverse funding sources. Lessons from underfunded programs included the value of corporate sponsorship and community engagement.