Enhancing Sustainable Communities With Green Infrastructure

Melissa G. Kramer
Posted on: 11/20/2014 - Updated on: 9/14/2022

Posted by

Rachel Gregg



Communities across the country want to protect their water quality while also getting the greatest possible benefit from every investment they make. Many are conserving, restoring, or enhancing natural areas while incorporating trees, rain gardens, vegetated roofs, and other practices that mimic natural systems into developed areas to manage rainwater where it falls.

These types of approaches, known as "green infrastructure," are an integral component of sustainable communities because they can help communities protect the environment and human health while providing other social and economic benefits, allowing communities to achieve more for their money.

This report is a guide to develop a plan that can overcome these obstacles for neighborhoods, towns, cities, and regions of all sizes. It helps stakeholders create a vision for how green infrastructure can enhance their communities—a vision that engages residents and inspires them to take action. It also directs readers to resources that provide more detailed information that can be tailored to communities' particular climate, goals, and circumstances.

It aims to help local governments, water utilities, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood groups, and other stakeholders integrate green infrastructure strategies into plans that can transform their communities. Many communities that want to use green infrastructure approaches face technical, regulatory, financial, and institutional obstacles that limit widespread implementation.

This document covers:

  • Strategies that support both sustainable communities and green infrastructure.
  • How to organize stakeholders to develop a sustainable communities and green infrastructure plan.
  • The different components of a sustainable communities and green infrastructure plan.


Melissa G. Kramer (2014). Enhancing Sustainable Communities With Green Infrastructure: A Guide to Help Communities Better Manage Stormwater While Achieving Other Environmental, Public Health, Social, and Economic Benefits. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities. https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/enhancing-sustainable-communities-green….

Affiliated Organizations

The Environmental Protection Agency is an independent executive agency of the United States federal government tasked with environmental protection matters. The Environmental Protection Agency has ten Regional offices, each of which is responsible for the execution of the Agency's programs within several states and territories.