DTAH is excited to have co-authored the City of Toronto’s first ever Green Infrastructure Design and Construction Standards! Developed along with our long-time friends and engineering partners at Arup, the standards address significant issues related to stormwater quality and quantity, and climate change.
Green infrastructure is defined by the City of Toronto’s Official Plan as natural and human-made elements that provide ecological and hydrological functions and processes. Green infrastructure is a cost-effective, resilient approach to managing the impact of wet weather events that provides social, economic, and environmental benefits, by capturing and storing precipitation where it falls.
Examples of green infrastructure include street trees, bioretention planters, rain gardens and permeable pavements that work alongside the City’s traditional infrastructure. Traditional streets are designed to direct stormwater into storm sewer systems, but Green Streets are designed to capture rainwater for plants and trees to grow. Green Streets also act as a natural filter to clean stormwater before it makes its way into local waterways.
In addition to mitigating and preventing the impacts of climate change, such as floods and droughts, green infrastructure also lowers greenhouse gas emissions, improves air quality, increases tree canopy and shade, increases biodiversity and habitats for animals, and enhances public realm aesthetics.