Green infrastructure may be an unfamiliar term, but it can be defined as a network of spaces close to nature as an extension of the existing concepts of green space or an ecological network. Simply put, it refers to green resources such as parks and trees that people need to live in balance with the environment. Here, the application of the concept of ‘infrastructure’ refers to social and economic functions as well as the general ecological functions of green areas. Green infrastructure is the totality of a series of large and small natural environment elements.
However, not all green areas or natural elements automatically become green infrastructure. For instance, a simple lawn without any ecological function is not green infrastructure. Green infrastructure must have a high ecological value and be part of the biotop linkage system. Here, ‘biotop’ means that the habitat of a specific biome has a certain boundary.
Among cultivated lands, even when eco-friendly cultivation use does not damage the species diversity of the region or the land can be used for a variety of purposes, it can become green infrastructure only when it can provide a recreational space or perform water purification functions.
One of the advantages of green infrastructure is that one space can satisfy multiple functions and use at the same time. Globally, green infrastructure is being used as a countermeasure against various environmental changes such as green space, urban flooding, and climate change. It is possible to provide an interactive solution, reduce losses, and increase gains, but a fully preserved ecosystem must be premised.
Types of green infrastructure include coastal disaster prevention forests, Wall greening, and Rain gardens. First of all, the purpose of coastal disaster prevention forests is to plant trees around coastal areas, which then serve as shade in summer and block sea breezes in winter. Consequently, heating effects can be obtained, and a pleasant environment can be created through air purification, humidity maintenance, and heat island effect prevention. Furthermore, crops can also be protected to help increase yields.
Next, Wall greening is to grow plants on the walls of buildings. It acts as a natural air purifier, has a humidifier effect, prevents heat island effect, and consumes cooling and heating energy.
Lastly, Rain garden refers to a garden that purifies rainwater mixed with pollutants such as acid rain and plays a role in purifying water pollution caused by urban asphalt and its inability to purify.
Green infrastructure can be a driving force for economic growth because it pursues sustainable and resource-efficient development. Green infrastructure is practically realized when natural resources are recognized as infrastructure for cities and people. Although green infrastructure is an unfamiliar word, it needs more public attention because it can bring about numerous environmental benefits.