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Project Overview
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Richmond City Project Overview

Link to the Bellemeade Walkable Watershed Pilot Project.

In 2009, the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC), the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission (RRPDC) and the Capital Region Land Conservancy developed a map of the Richmond Region’s Green Infrastructure to assist localities, land trusts and others to recognize and actively conserve the green infrastructure that connects the region. A copy of the regional report can be found here.

In 2010, the project was expanded to include a detailed look at opportunities for restoring green infrastructure in the city of Richmond, which lies in the heart of the region.  Similar to many older post-industrial cities, Richmond contains large areas of vacant and under-utilized lands.  However the city also has areas of key environmental resources, parks and greenways that need to be conserved and could be expanded.

Richmond’s green infrastructure includes its tree canopy, streams, parks and trails and natural areas that are home to countless birds, butterflies, and plants.  The city’s green infrastructure helps to keep the city cooler in the summer, absorbs air pollutants, cleans the air, and also mitigates flooding by absorbing stormwater.  The city’s green infrastructure also makes the city more livable for residents by providing opportunities for recreation, well being, and natural beauty. 

The new Richmond Green Infrastructure Assessment released in January 2011 provides ideas for creating a more healthful city.  The report provides a “greenprint” for the city’s future development and can be used by agencies and citizens alike. City staff can work with property owners to show them options for how to develop their parcels in ways that maximize green opportunities.  The City’s Department of Parks and Recreation can use the map to determine where to acquire future parkland or to make new trail connections. The Department of Public Works can use the report to strategically target tree planting to areas most in need.  Neighborhood groups can target areas of their communities for tree planting, community gardens and other activities that can absorb and filter water.  Businesses can use the maps to locate closer to green areas or to find parcels that they can develop as greener sites by adding more trees, vegetation and other features that cool the city while reducing runoff.

Next steps: The Bellemeade Walkable Watershed Pilot is next phase of the project, which focuses on a small watershed to show how restoration activities can be targeted within neighborhoods to reduce stormwater runoff. Please click on the project page to learn more. We wish to thank the Altria Group for their ongoing and generous sponsorship of the regional, city and local watershed phases of this project.



The project was implemented through a team-based approach.  Below is a list of the project partners and sponsors.

For the City of Richmond please contact: John Taylor, Richmond Department of Planning and Development Review at John.W.Taylor@richmondgov.com or 804-646-6314


For the Richmond Regional Planning District please contact
Sarah  Stewart, sstewart@richmondregional.org or 804-323-2033


The participation of the RRPDC is funded by:


For the Green Infrastructure Center please contact:
Karen Firehock at firehock@gicinc.org or 434-244-0322


To learn more about green infrastructure planning please contact gicinfo@gicinc.org
To learn more about the city please visit

Project funding for the GIC is provided by the Altria Group.




The James River riparian corridor is the highlight of the City of Richmond's green infrastructure network. It is cherished as an exciting venue for land- and water-based recreation; as a unique setting for historical events as well as recent redevelopment and economic growth; and for its scenic ecological features such as whitewater rapids, forested islands, and wildlife.


(Below): Underutilized parcels in Richmond provide a major opportunity to restore, reconnect, and expand the existing green infrastructure network.