SEMCOG Adopts Green Infrastructure Vision

SEMCOG Adopts Green Infrastructure Visiongallowaycollens1

(SEMCOG Press Release, April 3, 2014)

By a unanimous vote of its member local governments, the General Assembly of SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, adopted the Green Infrastructure Vision for Southeast Michigan, at its meeting last week in Detroit.

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett, who chaired SEMCOG’s Green Infrastructure Vision Task Force noted, “I am extremely pleased that SEMCOG membership adopted the Green Infrastructure Vision. This multi-year project offers tremendous insight and direction to help community leaders and ultimately, ctechadresidents, better understand, manage, enhance, and appreciate the green infrastructure that surrounds us.”

Green infrastructure includes parks, lakes, wetlands, and trees, as well as constructed green roofs, bioswales, and rain gardens. Southeast Michigan is home to more than 180,000 acres of public parks, more than 900,000 acres of trees, the only international wildlife refuge in North America, and the largest coastal wetland system in the Great Lakes.

The Green Infrastructure Vision for Southeast Michigan ties all the components of the region’s green infrastructure together into an identified system and, for the first time, benchmarks the green infrastructure we have, visions where we want to go, and provides policy recommendations on how to get there.seed02_sharon chess

Said Kathleen Lomako, Executive Director of SEMCOG, “Green infrastructure is increasingly being recognized for its contribution not only to environmental quality, but also to placemaking, economic values, and healthy communities – things that are vitally important to the quality of life in Southeast Michigan and individual communities.”

The vision was developed through numerous stakeholder engagement sessions to gather input on priorities for Southeast Michigan’s green infrastructure in the future. This input, along with data gathering and analysis moderntaxresulted in 10 regional policies:

  • -While there are many types of green infrastructure and owners, Southeast Michigan’s green infrastructure is a network that needs to be managed as a system.
  • -Southeast Michigan has high quality, unique natural areas that need to be managed, preserved, and, in some cases, restored.
  • -Public accessibility to the green infrastructure network is paramount, including access to parks, trails, water, and ensuring public spaces are designed for all residents.
  • -Additional green infrastructure should focus on connecting the public network together, focusing on riparian corridors (lands adjacent to rivers and lakes) and trails as well as meeting unmet recreation needs.
  • -Increasing tree canopy is a priority due to the numerous benefits, including water quality, property value enhancement, aesthetics, and connecting the green infrastructure network in urban areas.sidebar01sponsor
  • -In urban areas, constructed green infrastructure should be focused on publicly owned land such as roads and government property, as well as areas with large impervious surfaces such as private parking lots to improve the quality of local and regional water resources.
  • -The transportation network is a priority component of the regional green infrastructure network through development of green streets and complete streets in addition to connecting the green infrastructure network.
  • -Vacant property provides a unique opportunity to increase connectivity, buffer high-quality areas, Jim Shaffer ad EDITEDimprove public access to our waterways, and provide long-term solutions I high vacancy areas including providing a local food source.
  • -Education of and promotion to elected officials and the public about the environmental, economic, and social benefits of the green infrastructure network is needed.
  • -Sustainability of the green infrastructure is essential, including maintenance, fiscal sustainability, and innovative partnerships.

View the Green Infrastructure Vision for Southeast Michigan here. The document contains data and maps, as well as a chapter on how we will implement this vision, which will be the focus of SEMCOG’s work going forward. A summary of the vision was included in the Winter 2014 issue of Semscope, SEMCOG’s quarterly magazine.

SEMCOG is the only organization in Southeast Michigan that brings together all governments to solve regional challenges and enhance the quality of life for the seven-county region’s 4.7 million people.

 

SEMCOG General Assembly adopts
Green Infrastructure Vision for Southeast Michigan

By a unanimous vote of its member local governments, the General Assembly of SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, adopted the Green Infrastructure Vision for Southeast Michigan, at its meeting last week in Detroit.

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett, who chaired SEMCOG’s Green Infrastructure Vision Task Force noted, “I am extremely pleased that SEMCOG membership adopted the Green Infrastructure Vision. This multi-year project offers tremendous insight and direction to help community leaders and ultimately, residents, better understand, manage, enhance, and appreciate the green infrastructure that surrounds us.”

Green infrastructure includes parks, lakes, wetlands, and trees, as well as constructed green roofs, bioswales, and rain gardens. Southeast Michigan is home to more than 180,000 acres of public parks, more than 900,000 acres of trees, the only international wildlife refuge in North America, and the largest coastal wetland system in the Great Lakes.

The Green Infrastructure Vision for Southeast Michigan ties all the components of the region’s green infrastructure together into an identified system and, for the first time, benchmarks the green infrastructure we have, visions where we want to go, and provides policy recommendations on how to get there.

Said Kathleen Lomako, Executive Director of SEMCOG, “Green infrastructure is increasingly being recognized for its contribution not only to environmental quality, but also to placemaking, economic values, and healthy communities – things that are vitally important to the quality of life in Southeast Michigan and individual communities.”

The vision was developed through numerous stakeholder engagement sessions to gather input on priorities for Southeast Michigan’s green infrastructure in the future. This input, along with data gathering and analysis resulted in 10 regional policies:

  • While there are many types of green infrastructure and owners, Southeast Michigan’s green infrastructure is a network that needs to be managed as a system.
  • Southeast Michigan has high quality, unique natural areas that need to be managed, preserved, and, in some cases, restored.
  • Public accessibility to the green infrastructure network is paramount, including access to parks, trails, water, and ensuring public spaces are designed for all residents.
  • Additional green infrastructure should focus on connecting the public network together, focusing on riparian corridors (lands adjacent to rivers and lakes) and trails as well as meeting unmet recreation needs.
  • Increasing tree canopy is a priority due to the numerous benefits, including water quality, property value enhancement, aesthetics, and connecting the green infrastructure network in urban areas.
  • In urban areas, constructed green infrastructure should be focused on publicly owned land such as roads and government property, as well as areas with large impervious surfaces such as private parking lots to improve the quality of local and regional water resources.
  • The transportation network is a priority component of the regional green infrastructure network through development of green streets and complete streets in addition to connecting the green infrastructure network.
  • Vacant property provides a unique opportunity to increase connectivity, buffer high-quality areas, improve public access to our waterways, and provide long-term solutions I high vacancy areas including providing a local food source.
  • Education of and promotion to elected officials and the public about the environmental, economic, and social benefits of the green infrastructure network is needed.
  • Sustainability of the green infrastructure is essential, including maintenance, fiscal sustainability, and innovative partnerships.

View the Green Infrastructure Vision for Southeast Michigan here. The document contains data and maps, as well as a chapter on how we will implement this vision, which will be the focus of SEMCOG’s work going forward. A summary of the vision was included in the Winter 2014 issue of Semscope, SEMCOG’s quarterly magazine.

SEMCOG is the only organization in Southeast Michigan that brings together all governments to solve regional challenges and enhance the quality of life for the seven-county region’s 4.7 million people.

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