EWN Publications

Benefits, Applications, and Opportunities of Natural Infrastructure: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Policy and Global Affairs; Resilient America Program; Danielle Goldsmith, Berna Oztekin-Gunaydin, Negin Sobhani, and Paula Whitacre, Rapporteurs
February 25, 2023

About This Publication

Natural infrastructure is the practice of using naturally occurring aspects of the landscape and/or nature based solutions that use or imitate natural processes (e.g., wetlands, living shorelines, municipal green infrastructure) to support natural hazard resilience, climate change adaptation, and other benefits to people and ecosystems. Recognition of the multiple benefits of natural “green” infrastructure has increased over the past several decades, used alone or in combination with built “gray” infrastructure solutions, such as seawalls and levees. Yet many potential opportunities remain untapped. On May 10–11, 2022, the Resilient America program at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies) convened a workshop to explore opportunities to link the benefits of natural infrastructure across geographic scales and multiple objectives. Sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and hosted by the Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems at the University of Georgia (UGA), the hybrid workshop was targeted to the engineering community, as well as scientists, policy makers, planners, and others involved with designing, developing, and funding natural infrastructure.