Vacant to Vibrant: Creating Successful Green Infrastructure Networks

Vacant to Vibrant: Creating Successful Green Infrastructure Networks

by Sandra Albro


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Vacant lots, so often seen as neighborhood blight, have the potential to be a key element of community revitalization. As manufacturing cities reinvent themselves after decades of lost jobs and population, abundant vacant land resources and interest in green infrastructure are expanding opportunities for community and environmental resilience. Vacant to Vibrant explains how inexpensive green infrastructure projects can reduce stormwater runoff and pollution, and provide neighborhood amenities, especially in areas with little or no access to existing green space.

Sandra Albro offers practical insights through her experience leading the five-year Vacant to Vibrant project, which piloted the creation of green infrastructure networks in Gary, Indiana; Cleveland, Ohio; and Buffalo, New York. Vacant to Vibrant provides a point of comparison among the three cities as they adapt old systems to new, green technology. An overview of the larger economic and social dynamics in play throughout the Rust Belt region establishes context for the promise of green infrastructure. Albro then offers lessons learned from the Vacant to Vibrant project, including planning, design, community engagement, implementation, and maintenance successes and challenges. An appendix shows designs and plans that can be adapted to small vacant lots.

Landscape architects and other professionals whose work involves urban greening will learn new approaches for creating infrastructure networks and facilitating more equitable access to green space.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610919005
Publisher: Island Press
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Edition description: None
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Sandra Albro, research associate at Holden Forests & Gardens and project manager for Vacant to Vibrant, studies how urban greening projects on vacant lots can manage stormwater and revitalize neighborhoods in Great Lakes cities. She is also co-chair for the Cleveland Tree Coalition, a local collaborative that is working to implement the Cleveland Tree Plan to grow urban tree canopy.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Green Stormwater Infrastructure on Vacant Lots
Chapter 2: City Dynamics that Shape Vacant Land Use
Chapter 3: Vacant to Vibrant Planning
Chapter 4: Vacant to Vibrant Implementation
Chapter 5: Sustaining Urban Greening Projects
Chapter 6: Scaling Up Networks of Small Green Infrastructure


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