Community resilience: an investigation of municipal green infrastructure planning and the role of ecosystem services

Thumbnail Image
Green Infrastructure , Ecosystem Services , Municipal , Land Use , Planning , Regulation , Education
Whitman, Steven W.
This study of municipal green infrastructure planning was conducted to better understand how municipalities in the United States are addressing the converging issues of development, land use regulation, and natural resource management using this concept. The research was conducted through a qualitative case study that included a content analysis of 48 municipal green infrastructure plans and adopted land use regulations from municipalities across the United States, as well as twelve semi-structured, in-depth interviews with individuals involved in the creation and/or implementation of a subset of these plans. ATLAS.ti 8 software was used to inductively analyze the data collected. The mean number of ecosystem services and other benefits included in the green infrastructure plans reviewed was 14. However, the number of ecosystem services found in the adopted land use regulations was much lower overall. A better understanding of the use and implementation of ecosystem services can clarify best practices for leveraging green infrastructure approaches to generate additional benefits and assist municipalities in becoming more resilient. This study's conclusion is that there is a strong relationship between green infrastructure and preserving or creating ecosystem services, but that there is a great deal of variation in how these initiatives are approached at the municipal scale.