Sus·tain·able - of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.

In today’s world, everybody and everything is “Green”
so the terminology can get pretty confusing. Following
are some definitions that will hopefully add to one’s
understanding about what these terms really mean.

Example of Smart Growth

Smart Growth- an urban planning and transportation practice that concentrates growth in the center of a city or high growth area to avoid urban sprawl, and advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools, services, complete streets and a range of housing choices. The goal is to create a unique sense of community and place with connectivity while setting aside public green space, and preserving open space and critical habitat.

Sustainable Development- is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but in the indefinite future. Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social challenges facing humanity.

Green Infrastructure- is a concept originating in the United States in the mid-1990s that highlights the importance of the natural environment in decisions about land use planning. In particular there is an emphasis on the “life support” functions provided by the natural environment, for example; clean water and healthy soils, as well as the more anthropocentric functions such as recreation and providing shade and shelter in and around towns and cities. The United States Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) has extended the concept to apply to the management of storm water runoff at the local level through the use of natural systems (Natural Storm Drainage), or engineered systems that mimic natural systems (Bio-mimicry), to treat polluted runoff.

Low Impact Development- (LID) is a term used in the United States to describe a land planning and engineering design approach to protect the natural environment and manage storm water runoff. LID emphasizes conservation and use of on-site natural features to protect water quality. This approach implements engineered or natural small-scale hydrologic controls to replicate the pre-development hydrologic regime of watersheds through infiltrating, filtering, storing, evaporating, and detaining runoff close to its source. Holistically applied, this approach considers the history and archeology of the site and the architectural heritage of the region as well as geological factors in developing the design approach for the project.

Example of Sustainable Development

Example of Green Infrastructure

Example of Low Impact Development

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