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Building Equity into US Urban Green Infrastructure Planning

Green infrastructure (GI) has become an important sustainability and resilience strategy for US cities. As green infrastructure programs proliferate, how can we ensure that investments benefit all urban residents while addressing persistent environmental and social injustices?

Join experts from Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and The New School's Urban Systems Lab to learn how cities can build equity into green infrastructure planning and practice. In this hour long webinar, explore results from an analysis of over 120 green infrastructure plans in 20 US cities.

Drs. Timon McPhearson and Zbigniew Grabowski share a synthesis of the study’s findings – including how cities across the US use GI to address a broad range of urban challenges, opportunities for planners to address equity and justice, and how city agencies and nonprofits can align efforts to integrate ecological and infrastructure systems.

The webinar discusses how to plan and design integrative, equitable, and just green infrastructure systems, using recommendations and resources on the project website. There will be ample time for practitioners, advocates, and community members to ask questions about the analysis and share strategies to evolve planning efforts that deliver equitable and just GI systems.

Cities that were part of the analysis include: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Louisville, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Juan, Seattle, St. Louis, Syracuse, and Washington DC.


Dr. Steward Pickett is a pioneering urban ecologist seeking to understand and advance cities as equitable social-ecological systems.


Dr. Zbigniew Grabowski is a transdisciplinary researcher focused on enabling just transitions of socio-eco-technical systems.

Dr. Timon McPhearson is an urban ecologist focused on improving equity, resilience and sustainability in complex urban systems.

This webinar was hosted as a part of The JPB Foundation funded project — ‘Making Green Infrastructure Equitable’.


Project products [project website]

What is green infrastructure? A study of definitions in US city planning [journal article]

Is Green Infrastructure a Universal Good? [story map]

Governing Green [experiential toolkit]

Other resources

Is Green Infrastructure Fair? [talk video]


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