Just as growing communities need to upgrade and expand their built infrastructure of roads, sewers, and utilities, they also need to upgrade and expand their green infrastructure, the interconnected system of green spaces that conserves natural ecosystem values and functions, sustains clear air and water, and provides a wide array of benefits to people and wildlife. Green infrastructure is a community's natural life support system, the ecological framework needed for environmental and economic sustainability.
In their role as green infrastructure, parks and open space are a community necessity. By planning and managing urban parks as parts of an interconnected green space system, cities can reduce flood control and stormwater management costs. Parks can also protect biological diversity and preserve essential ecological functions while serving as a place for recreation and civic engagement. They can even help shape urban form and reduce opposition to development, especially when planned in concert with other open spaces.
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