Prioritizing and Enhancing Green Infrastructure

PAG created this map to help municipalities, non-profits, and neighborhood groups to select priority locations that would benefit the most from increased access to tree shade to reduce heat exposure. This tool was additionally created to help decision-makers distribute green infrastructure resources to areas with opportunities for enhanced stormwater management, mobility and livability.


Click here to view the map

What is Green Infrastructure?

Green infrastructure (GI) is defined as bringing the natural and built environments together by using the landscape as living stormwater infrastructure. Mitigating the impacts of urban hardscape, planners can mimic the structure of natural waterways using soils, vegetation and passive water harvesting components. This can cost-effectively replicate the functions of natural systems.

Benefits of GI:

  • water and energy conservation
  • restored ecosystems
  • reduced urban heat island effect
  • traffic calming for neighborhood safety
  • pavement preservation through shade
  • improved air and stormwater quality
  • carbon offsets
  • improved quality of life
  • enhanced recreation
  • higher property values

GI Case Studies and Demonstration Sites:


Resources for Implementing Green Infrastructure

 For information about PAG's Green Infrastructure efforts and additional planning resources, visit our Green Infrastructure page.


How Do I Use This Tool?

This tool can help decision-makers to allocate limited resources and support GI efforts. Use the map and your own desired criteria to determine priorities and opportunities to meet your GI project goals. Select multiple layers and explore the relationships between environmental conditions and social demographics. Available data layers include regional tree canopy, surface temperature, extreme heat vulnerable populations, USDA food deserts, Tucson Bikeways and water flow lines. View the tutorial.

 Here are just a few examples of ways this tool can be used:
  • Green for All was the first group to utilize PAG’s data layers as a comprehensive map. PAG demonstrated its value during youth education efforts and received feedback about community engagement. 
  • The City of Tucson helped to pilot the analytical value of this map’s data. It was used in 2013 to identify areas with less than average canopy and greater than average surface temperature where they prioritized tree planting efforts for Mayor Rothschild's 10,000 Trees Initiative. Trees for Tucson conducts enhanced outreach efforts to neighborhoods identified on the map.
  • Conserve 2 Enhance also encourages the use of this tool by C2E grant applicants to demonstrate applicability for wash restoration and need for enhanced urban forest.
  • Watershed Management Group and the Pima County Regional Flood Control District used the data layers of this tool to conduct a case study in the Airport Wash watershed. This evaluation demonstrated the feasibility of rainwater harvesting to mitigate flooding concerns in the neighborhood.

This map is a preliminary step toward a more robust interactive tool that may be developed with additional feedback and datasets as they become available. The PAG Sustainable Environment Program, PAG Technical Services, PAG Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, and the PAG Stormwater Management Working Group continue to coordinate future development efforts with regional partners. We invite each PAG member jurisdiction to work with us to aid their decision-making considerations.
Please contact us if you are interested in participating in the development of this resource or would like us to help address your planning needs:PAG-GIMap@pagregion.com


Disclaimer: This report and/or data was funded in part through grant[s] from the Federal Highway Administration and/or Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. The contents of this report and/or data reflect the views and opinions of the author(s) or data source(s) who is responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily state or reflect the official views or policies of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Arizona Department of Transportation, Pima Association of Governments (PAG) or any other State or Federal Agency. This report and/or data does not constitute a standard, specification or regulation. The information in this publication is provided on an “as is” basis, and there are no warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. There are inherent limitations to all reports and/or data presented. PAG does not provide any interpretation of the report and/or data provided herewith. In no event shall PAG be liable for any damages resulting from the use of the information. PAG provides the information in good faith and has endeavored to create and maintain accurate data. The users of this report and/or data are advised to use the information with caution and to independently verify accuracy.