A joint venture between The Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Land and the Conservation Fund is on a mission to champion the importance of green public spaces. The partnership produces a new urban planning tool – The Greenprint Resource Hub –  that helps all those involved in urban planning make the most of public space. The tool acts as a database for practitioners, policymakers, and community members looking to incorporate parks, open space, and agriculture into their economic and social goals.

urban planning tool

Conservation Gateway.

Urban planners can use the Greenprint Resource Hub to locate greenprints across the U.S. and explore over 60 greenprint case studies. They can also learn more about greenprints and the benefits they bring to communities. The tool can guide them while they review the best practices, and look into opportunities and examples of funding and policies that enable greenprints.

From Hawaii to Maine, communities across the United States have united to identify what makes their public spaces unique and accordingly set plans to work on protecting the ecosystem of their spaces as well as their working spaces, and balance economic growth with sustainable prosperity. However, it looks like Boston could use a little help from this new urban planning tool. The Boston Globe‘s Dante Ramos published a column last week on how the city had “failed” at handling its public space: “Parks are supposed to be relaxing. But lately, the whole subject has been giving Boston a headache,” he starts. In Ramos’s opinion, Boston’s municipality has mishandled and mismanaged the disputes on significant public spaces like the Seaport, Rose Kennedy Greenway and Beacon Hill. Ramos argues that Boston hasn’t thought hard enough about what it actually wants from these spots. “We presume that a park is a park, and the more there are, the better. We treat “public space,” “open space,” and “green space” as rough synonyms, even though each of those terms has different implications for who owns a given patch of land, who uses it, and which amenities sit on it,” he writes.