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Challenges of mainstreaming green infrastructure in built environment professions

Zuniga-Teran, Adriana A.; Staddon, Chad; de Vito, Laura; Gerlak, Andrea K.; Ward, Sarah; Schoeman, Yolandi; Hart, Aimee; Booth, Giles


Adriana A. Zuniga-Teran

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Chad Staddon
Professor/Associate Head of Department: Research and Scholarship

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Dr Laura De Vito
Research Fellow in Air Quality Management Resource Centre

Andrea K. Gerlak

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Dr Sarah Ward
Associate Professor in Community Resilience (within CFCR)

Yolandi Schoeman

Aimee Hart

Giles Booth


© 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Green infrastructure (GI) has been identified as a promising approach to help cities adapt to climate change through the provision of multiple ecosystem services. However, GI contributions to urban resilience will not be realized until it is more fully mainstreamed in the built environment and design professions. Here, we interrogate five key challenges for the effective implementation of GI: (1) design standards; (2) regulatory pathways; (3) socio-economic considerations; (4) financeability; and (5) innovation. Methods include a literature review, case studies, and interviews with resilience managers. We propose a people-centred and context-dependent approach to advance effective implementation of GI in urban planning. We highlight two underlying currents that run across all of the challenges–(1) the role of political will as a pre-condition for tackling all challenges holistically; and (2) the role of stakeholder engagement in achieving public support, harnessing funding, and maintaining and monitoring GI in the long term. Highlights: • The effective implementation of GI is context-specific and should adhere to the basic principles of appropriate technology. • Continuous community engagement is needed to ensure the inclusivity and multi-functionality of GI. • Challenges to successful GI are intersectional and therefore cannot be addressed singly in isolation.


Zuniga-Teran, A. A., Staddon, C., de Vito, L., Gerlak, A. K., Ward, S., Schoeman, Y., …Booth, G. (2020). Challenges of mainstreaming green infrastructure in built environment professions. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 63(4), 710-732.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 5, 2019
Online Publication Date Jun 12, 2019
Publication Date 2020-01
Deposit Date Jun 28, 2019
Journal Journal of Environmental Planning and Management
Print ISSN 0964-0568
Electronic ISSN 1360-0559
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 63
Issue 4
Pages 710-732
Keywords green infrastructure, urban resilience, nature-based solutions, stormwater management planning
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