Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2009 - (Page 6)

STRATA FUNDING FOR THE GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE FOUNDATION GIF HOME DEPOT SUPPORT PROVIDES CRITICAL BASE FOR NEW NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION By Michael Krause reen Roofs for Healthy Cities has a new partner with the founding last year of the Green Infrastructure Foundation (gif), an affiliated, tax-exempt charitable organization that will focus on helping communities make their infrastructure investments more economically and environmentally sustainable by greening the urban landscape. One of the goals of the gif is to broaden the understanding of the benefits of green infrastructure within urban areas at the municipal government level as well as among private developers. The gif received a big boost in April 2008 with the award of a major grant from the Home Depot Foundation in Atlanta. The grant is paying for some of the startup costs for gif and is also funding on-the-ground coordinators in Atlanta, Washington, d.c. and San Francisco-Oakland, as well as a training manual and workshops on green infrastructure performance, projects and policies that will be offered in 15 cities across North America. “The coordinators and training workshops will be an important strategy for building a broader network of supporters and practitioners in the many facets of green infrastructure,” says Steven Peck, president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and co-founder of the Green Infrastructure Foundation. The formation of gif comes at a time when interest in a greener approach to infrastructure generally and the more literal manifestations of green infrastructure – green roofs, green walls, community gardens and urban forestry – is growing rapidly. Speakers at the recent National Infrastructure Summit in Washington d.c. sponsored by the American Planning Association made it clear that we are unlikely to continue building infrastructure and transportation systems in the same way that we have been building them in the past. G “By some estimates, the level of u.s. federal funding for infrastructure needs has declined by 70 percent over the last two decades and at least usd $700 billion is needed in coming years just to catch up.” Nearly every speaker at the Summit issued a call to do a better job of integrating environmental functions that protect biodiversity, air and water quality back into our urban landscapes. gif also begins its work in the midst of a “perfect storm” across the United States as the u.s. Congress and new Obama Administration grapple with the convergence of a climate crisis, the need for additional economic stimulus and decades of under-funded transportation and infrastructure needs. By some estimates, the level of u.s. federal funding for infrastructure needs has declined by 70 percent over the last two decades and at least usd $700 billion is needed in coming years just to catch up As u.s. federal legislation rolls out next year related to energy, transportation and job creation, look for green infrastructure to be a central part of the strategies for addressing these needs. As a consequence, there is a growing interest in Washington to look at including some form of “green infrastructure amendment” on these major funding bills as a way to move the country forward in a more sustainable direction. Congressional hearings in late 2006 found that most state and local governments were unaware of the efficacy of a green infrastructure approach. The hearings also identified some local land-use guidelines and a general lack of technical skills related to green infrastructure in the planning, engineering and construction fields as other barriers to the broader use of green infrastructure strategies. As one response top those hearings, the u.s. Environmental Protection Agency (epa) has been leading an effort to create a “community of practice” in green infrastructure made up mostly of interested staff in a number of federal agencies and some research institutions. A November MISSION The Green Infrastructure Foundation (gif) provides resources, training, public education and evaluation of public and private infrastructure investments to help communities, local governments and private developers make the built environment more economically, ecologically and socially sustainable. 6 LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR WINTER

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2009

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2009
From the Founder: When is a Green Roof Really "Green"?
Strata - People, Products & Projects: Funding for the Green Infrastructure Foundation (GIF)
An Integrated Approach to Green Roofs
On the Roof with...
Project: A Green Wall for Wildlife
Research: Green Roofs and Local Temperature
Turning Your Roof into a Water-Saving "Living Oasis"
Feature: Water & Georgia
GRHC Update: GHRC Professional Development Calendar
Accreditation Exam Subject to Stringent Standards
Welcome New Corporate Members
On Spec: Change We Can Believe In

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2009