Redlands, California—June 28, 2016—Esri, the world leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology, has launched a suite of public mapping tools and data to help communities protect the places and natural resources that help people, wildlife, and the economy thrive.
Leading the Green Infrastructure for the U.S. initiative, Esri has partnered with National Geographic Society to transform how U.S. communities plan development. By equipping local, regional, and urban municipalities with data and GIS tools, Esri president Jack Dangermond envisions communities working together to build a green infrastructure—a strategically managed network of open spaces, watersheds, wildlife habitats, parks and other areas that deliver vital services and enrich quality of life.
With Esri’s green infrastructure planning tools, communities can identify, protect, and connect local places of natural and cultural significance before development occurs.
"It's possible for communities to preserve natural habitats, protect biodiversity, and improve quality of life while supporting sustainable growth," Dangermond said. "By using green infrastructure as a framework for growth, people can develop communities that are consistent and function in concert with the natural environment, instead of being at odds with it."
At the core of Esri's green infrastructure initiative is a first-of-its-kind national map depicting every intact natural area greater than 100 acres, regardless of ownership or preservation status. The map shows areas of ecological, cultural, and scenic importance, giving users a national and regional overview of the resources and places that are important to conserve before planning development.
By combining local data with Esri's map, municipal planners, investors, conservationists, and the public can visualize and prioritize which landscapes to protect and connect—such as natural systems that mitigate flooding, green spaces that boost property values, and trails that enable recreation.
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