Development of database of Tucson Green Infrastructure sites

Mandla Kunnie and Thomas Meixner

Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
The University of Arizona

The implementation of Green Infrastructure (GI) can be studied in myriad ways using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In particular, GIS is a useful, readily-accessible tool to easily visualize patterns of land-use. Seventeen cities in the United States have started using GIS and more specifically ArcMap to catalogue their green infrastructure sites to assess the effectiveness of rainwater catchments and the impact of green infrastructure on other water-related studies such as flood control. There are approximately 1500 GI sites ranging from private to public sites throughout the Tucson Basin.  A major part of this project included contacting numerous government agencies to collect the data, which took just as much time as the database creation. One of the more important aspects of the database creation was developing a standardized nomenclature for the various categories of GI sites that are different for every government organization. Using this new database, the Urban Water Innovation Network can conduct comparisons on how Green Infrastructure is used in Tucson compared with cities in other areas of the country. This project is beneficial to people because it will allow researchers to study the impact of GI on human health as well as the greenhouse effect, water conservation, flood control, and future water use planning.

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