A new report by the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition says that green infrastructure offers tangible, cost effective ways to meet the challenges of urbanization and climate change. The report includes six recommendations for the Ontario government, including the implementation of stormwater management ponds.

“We need to think about public infrastructure the same way we think about health care–more holistically and with an eye towards prevention,” said Paul Ronan, executive director of the Ontario Parks Association, in a press release. “Taxpayer dollars can go further, and provide a wider range of economic, health and environmental benefits, when significant green infrastructure investments are made to support more common ‘grey’ infrastructure spending.”

The report, co-written by the Coalition and Ecojustice, examines how other jurisdictions in North America are  benefitting from investments in green infrastructure.

“Green infrastructure complements and extends the life of many types of traditional infrastructure,” said Liat Podolsky, staff scientist at Ecojustice. “For example, grassed boulevards and stormwater management ponds reduce water runoff and put less stress on sewer and water pipes, expanding the efficiency and lifespan of those pipes. But unlike pipes, green infrastructure has additional benefits such as cleaning our air, cooling our cities to reduce energy costs and making our neighbourhoods more attractive.”

The report also states that by implementing the recommendations, the Province can build on existing expertise and create thousands of new jobs in communities throughout Ontario.

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