What is Green Infrastructure and the Green Network?
- City infrastructure components, such as aquatic areas; green areas; the urban forest; trails and greenways are green infrastructure.
- Green infrastructure combines into a system of natural, enhanced and engineered assets to create a comprehensive green network.
- Ecosystem services are the benefits green infrastructure provides to the community. Green infrastructure provides municipal and ecosystem services by protecting, restoring or enhancing green space.
- Like other infrastructure, approaching green infrastructure as an interconnected system ensures that the multiple interactions of people, nature and assets are considered together. With an integrated systems approach in creating a green network, resiliency increases and ecosystem services are optimized.
Phase 1: Baseline Inventory (Spring 2018)
Phase 1 of the Strategy included gathering information about the City’s existing green spaces to establish the baseline Green Infrastructure Network (Network) and identified areas that need to be strengthened. Ten guiding principles were drafted to outline what the Strategy strives to achieve. Thirty-two key findings highlight vulnerabilities to the Network as well as opportunities that could benefit the Network. These findings will inform the options and recommendations that will be developed in Phase 2.
Phase 2: Saskatoon's Green Infrastructure Strategy (Spring 2020)
The vision for the Green Infrastructure Strategy (Strategy) is that Saskatoon’s green network provides sustainable habitat for people and nature. The holistic green network takes into account natural, enhanced and engineered green infrastructure, which as a system provides far more effective services when considered together than when apart. The Strategy outlines actions and initiatives to achieve the vision for a holistic green network. There are five themes which guide the green network, which are:
- Promotes community by facilitating place-making, honouring culture, and inspiring community-led transformation;
- Creates a governance model with an emphasis on partnerships and triple bottom line solutions;
- Provides access to high-quality, interconnected open space for all Saskatoon’s residents;
- Supports ecology by conserving biodiversity, supporting high quality habitat, and increasing climate change resilience; and
- Facilitates storm water management by managing rain where it falls and recognizing storm water as an important resource.
Through research, engagement, municipal scans and analysis of the findings, the Strategy proposes a series of 15 actions, each with tasks associated with implementation of the action. The Green Infrastructure Actions are as follows:
- Design the green network to reflect our collective history, honour cultural diversity and create a sense of belonging for all.
- Inspire citizen-driven transformation of the green network.
- Increase food production in the green network.
- Invest in the green network within the City of Saskatoon.
- Develop a cooperative governance approach to green network provision and management.
- Redefine the partnership with Meewasin to achieve collective goals related to conservation, education and development of the green network.
- Renew formal and informal green space in the green network to meet citizen needs.
- Expand the green network by creating new publicly available green space or increasing green infrastructure.
- Increase walkability and active transportation throughout the green network.
- Protect and grow the urban forest.
- Protect, restore and manage significant natural areas.
- Connect and naturalize the green network in built-up areas.
- Improve biodiversity and ecosystem health throughout the green network.
- Integrate natural waterbodies and drainage courses into development using green infrastructure.
- Increase the use of low impact development