Great Urban Parks: Green Infrastructure in Underserved Communities

Background Research for March 2016 Convening of Thought Leaders in Atlanta, GA



We have brought together green infrastructure experts, thought leaders in social equity and policy, as well as influencers in the planning and park and recreation fields, for a deep dive into the current status of green infrastructure in local parks and the potential to realize greater positive social and environmental change in communities through such practices. The convening is designed to bring together stakeholders and leaders to explore creative solutions to challenges in the field of parks and recreation and create innovative strategies to solve problems, reduce costs, and better serve the public.

Together we will:

  1. Examine current research, policies, and resources to support the implementation of green infrastructure in underserved communities;
  2. Identify gaps in the research and action opportunities to increase and improve the use of green infrastructure as a strategy to address societal challenges; and
  3. Outline opportunities to demonstrate models of best practice to increase green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management and community engagement in underserved communities.

One outcome of this collaboration between thought leaders and practitioners will be a series of infographics to frame the challenges, outline current research, and propose recommendations for further action to advance the practice of green infrastructure in underserved communities. The greatest need is to focus on innovative strategies for utilization of existing parks and public lands, but we intend to provide resources and direction to all public park and recreation agencies to encourage new approaches to creating high-performance public spaces that utilize green infrastructure to stormwater management.


Page Count
Date Published
March 1, 2016
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

Table of Contents


Project Overview
Background Research

Why Green Infrastructure?

What is Green Infrastructure?

Benefits of Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure and Equity

Parks, Green Infrastructure, and Equity

Case Study Research
Summary of Findings
Further Research and Development