Making Your Resources Count

Seholl, Jack; Schwartz, Andrew
August 2005
Planning;Aug/Sep2005, Vol. 71 Issue 8, p38
Trade Publication
The article presents information on the Natural Infrastructure Project for Southwestern Pennsylvania, which is an attempt to establish a new direction in regional planning, one that offers a unique opportunity to identify and balance key natural infrastructure uses. Natural infrastructure is a more comprehensive term that encompasses all the uses of natural world and attempts to strike a balance between ecology, cultural heritage, human use and economics. Thus, it includes traditional green infrastructure uses such as trails, agriculture, forestry, hunting, camping and fishing. But it also encompasses natural resources such as coal mining, aggregate extraction, public water supply, landfills and other public services. The Natural Infrastructure Project has three major components--regional case studies, a natural infrastructure atlas, and a natural infrastructure framework. The project began with a survey of 59 U.S. and Canadian metropolitan areas. To measure economic vitality, the technical team created an index of population growth, job formation, and gross national product for each area. It then looked at natural resources, publicly accessible land and climatic conditions.


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