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This new report finds that integrating green and gray infrastructure can help deliver a “triple-win” with benefits for the economy, communities, and the environment.

Green and gray infrastructure are more powerful when they work together, according to the report
Integrating Green and Gray: Creating Next Generation Infrastructure published in March 2019 by the World Bank and World Resources Institute.

A new generation of infrastructure projects that harness the power of nature can help achieve development goals, including water security and climate resilience, according to the authors. They are calling for green infrastructure, such as mangroves and wetlands, to play a bigger role in traditional infrastructure planning.

The authors show how weaving the power of ‘green’ natural systems, including flood plains and forests, into ‘gray’ traditional infrastructure systems can lower cost and increase resilience.

The report showcases World Bank projects where green infrastructure is already being deployed. For example, in Brazil, forests filter biological impurities to protect water sources and reduce the need for expensive water treatment plants upgrades. In Vietnam, mangroves are used as a first line of defense against typhoons and sea surges, helping to reduce investments in expensive man-made sea dikes.

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