Siting Green Infrastructure: Legal and Policy Solutions to Alleviate Urban Poverty and Promote Healthy Communities

26 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2009 Last revised: 11 Jun 2014

See all articles by Alexandra Dapolito Dunn

Alexandra Dapolito Dunn

American University Washington College of Law; Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law; Advisor, Environmental Law Society

Date Written: January 1, 2010

Abstract

Green infrastructure is an economically and environmentally viable approach for water management and natural resource protection in urban areas. This Article argues that green infrastructure has additional and exceptional benefits for the urban poor which are not frequently highlighted or discussed. When green infrastructure is concentrated in distressed neighborhoods - where it frequently is not - it can improve urban water quality, reduce urban air pollution, improve public health, enhance urban aesthetics and safety, generate green collar jobs, and facilitate urban food security. To make these quality of life and health benefits available to the urban poor, it is essential that urban leaders remove both legal and policy barriers to implementing green infrastructure projects. This Article argues that overcoming these obstacles requires quantified methods and regulatory reform. Increased public financing and other incentives are also necessary. Furthermore, legal structures that facilitate green solutions must be put in place. Lastly, awareness of green infrastructure solutions among policy makers and the wider public must be enhanced so that our nation's more distressed urban populations may realize the benefits that such solutions yield.

Suggested Citation

Dunn, Alexandra Dapolito, Siting Green Infrastructure: Legal and Policy Solutions to Alleviate Urban Poverty and Promote Healthy Communities (January 1, 2010). Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, Vol. 37, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1517909

Alexandra Dapolito Dunn (Contact Author)

American University Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law ( email )

3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, DC 20064
United States

Advisor, Environmental Law Society ( email )

3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, DC 20064
United States

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