Greener Communities

Greener communities icon

While urban and suburban communities represent a small percentage of our land base, they present important biocarbon opportunities that also further other social, environmental, and economic goals such as protecting human health, controlling sprawl, and reducing infrastructure costs.

Greener cities are also better prepared to buffer the heat and extremes of drought and storms resulting from global warming. Northwest cities are among the nation’s leaders in demonstrating the benefits of greening our communities. 

Tanner Springs

Mike Houck

Biocarbon solutions in our communities include:

  • Creating new green spaces and urban forests;
  • Planning development to protect and grow biocarbon; and
  • Converting acres of pavement, rooftop, and lawns into more carbon-rich alternatives such as parks, eco-landscaping, green roofs, and green infrastructure.

Biocarbon Success Stories

View Riparian Restoration: The story of how Clean Water Services in Washington County, Oregon decided to restore natural areas along the Tualatin River - a decision that saved their community over $100 million dollars while reducing CO2.

Learn about the Gallucci Learning Center - not only a biocarbon solution, also a vital hub for Tacoma’s Hilltop. Kristen McIvor is a little like a few million soil micro-organisms, in a good way.  She breaks down the ossified lifeless clods in the metaphorical soil structure of the community, and she transforms them into fertile, tilthy substrates in which people of all kinds find kinship, delight, and healthy food:

NBI Innovation Partners who are greening their communities:

Resources

Natural Infrastructure: A Climate-Smart Solution
By spearheading innovations that harness the power of natural systems, Oregon and Washington are at the forefront of addressing the three climate imperatives: (1) reduce reliance on fossil fuels; (2) remove existing carbon pollution; and (3) build resilience to withstand climate impacts. Natural Infrastructure: A Climate-Smart Solution explores the way that natural infrastructure solutions function and includes a variety of natural solutions at work throughout the Northwest.

Re-greening Cities: The Carbon Landscape
Greenspaces and green infrastructure to build biocarbon and climate resiliency while saving energy and tax dollars
--Patrick Mazza, Research Director, Climate Solutions (July 2010). Part of a series of briefing papers on biocarbon that focus on how the Northwest can mount regional initiatives to accelerate biocarbon progress.