Adoption of green infrastructure tracked
"This work came out of a long term collaboration in Arizona trying to understand a lot of aspects of how green infrastructure (GI) is used there," says Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman, assistant professor in Environmental Science and Technology at UMD. "We are looking at the functionality of GI, its practical benefits, but also how governance and learning around GI changes, inhibits, or helps adoption. Looking at evolution and adoption, we can see different types of players that are key, like policy entrepreneurs who are early adopters or innovators in either practice or policy and how they help diffuse knowledge around the city. Learning these lessons, we gain a lot of insight into how policy is changing, and how other areas could adapt going forward."
Funded by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Coupled Human and Natural Systems program, Pavao-Zuckerman collaborated with the University of Arizona, the Udall Center for Public Policy in Tucson, and the University of Virginia to examine these GI trends. The researchers took a mixed methods approach to the work, examining policy, documentation, and newspaper reports to create a timeline of GI developments in the history of the city. The timeline was then used as a starting point when interviewing stakeholders and GI players in Tucson, providing a richer context and backdrop to the interview data.