What is Green Infrastructure?
We’re all familiar with the word infrastructure but the phrase Green Infrastructure is perhaps less well known. It can be thought of as a network of green spaces in some area of interest such as a suburb, an LGA, a city or even a state.
It includes coastal reserves, waterways and wetlands, wildlife corridors and sanctuaries - as well as undeveloped land and greenways (open corridors for above ground “Grey Infrastructure"). It also includes street trees and urban vegetation, public, private and national parks, as well as rooftop, wall, and even private gardens. Anything else is now termed Grey Infrastructure - i.e anything that isn’t green and living - including buildings, gas and water pipelines, tramways, roads and more.
To date, effective Green Infrastructure management has relied on visible and infrared data sources from satellites or more commonly, localised capture technologies such as LiDAR. The problem is that LiDAR captures are expensive and the data is bulky and difficult to work with. But the bigger problem is the long temporal window between capture and actionable insights. This can be as long as 12 months in some cases - but this just doesn’t cut it any more.
Many councils have neither the funding nor the expertise to work with this technology and even when they do, often are forced to work off three to five year old datasets due to cost constraints. So due to the increasing pace of suburban development, it is often the case that by the time the insights are available, the situation on the ground has completely changed.
Moreover, due to tree removal exemptions on private land, many councils are not aware of and do not even collect data on private tree removal despite the fact that this is the major cause of observed suburban canopy loss. Consequently, policy is often formed based on incomplete or out of date data.
Imagine there was an affordable, frequent, consistent and accurate solution. And imagine it was available today…