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On March 4, 2019, experts from ASLA’s interdisciplinary Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change and Resilience presented their report, Smart Policies for a Changing Climate, during a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill. The report outlines a bold vision for 21st century green infrastructure investment to create healthy, climate-smart, and resilient communities from coast to coast. It is a blueprint for securing a sustainable and resilient future through design and planning approaches as well as specific public policy recommendations.
Though we are all vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change, some groups are disproportionately affected. Climate-related health challenges are an environmental justice issue because certain communities that already experience multiple environmental health burdens are also disproportionately affected by climate change. Our challenge is to put these recommended planning approaches and public policies into practice as standard operating procedure for communities of all sizes and for all types of development.
Identify how green infrastructure uses trees, plants, and permeable hard surfaces to capture and filter stormwater to reduce pollution run-off, mitigate the urban heat-island effect, and provide community amenities and assets.
Illustrate how utilizing natural systems and integrating green infrastructure into the built environment can be the most cost effective solution for meeting multiple public policy objectives.
Discuss how to address environmental justice and racial and society equity issues that impact climate vulnerable communities.