Conference on Urban Green Infrastructure:


Conference on Urban Green Infrastructure:

Science, Operation and Finance

November 2, 2018

Missed it? Watch the recorded conference.

About the Conference

Watch the recorded morning sessions.  Watch the recorded afternoon sessions

Cities are increasingly vulnerable to acute shocks such as heat waves and major flooding.  As one part of the response, green infrastructure solutions can offer a wide array of environmental, economic and social benefits to cities – while also posing challenges and raising new questions. 

The goal of the 2018 Hixon Center Conference is to share the latest thinking on the science behind, the operation of and the sources of funding for green infrastructure – while surfacing and exploring questions that are in the most need of answers. 

We will explore these topics through four panels addressing the following broad questions:

  • What is the latest science telling us about the performance of green infrastructure, particularly for managing water, temperature and health outcomes?
  • What are managers of green infrastructure systems seeing in terms of costs and benefits from green infrastructure in action?
  • What new sources of funding are being developed across different combinations of:
    • Public sources of funding?
    • For-profit sources of finance?


Schedule of Events


Registration and Breakfast

Coffee and a light breakfast will be provided.

9:15am to 9:45am


Giovanni Zinn, City of New Haven

'05 BS, Director of Engineering
9:45am to 11:00am

Panel I: Actionable Science: Green Infrastructure Performance

What is the science telling us about the opportunities and challenges for green infrastructure (GI) to help cities improve their performance on water, temperature and public health issues? How should we be thinking across scales–from individual GI installations to networks of GI units across different neighborhoods in a city? What are the major questions that still need to be answered as cities think about investing in green infrastructure, either alone or in combination with more traditional/ “grey” infrastructure? 

Gaboury Benoit, Ph.D., Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Grinstein Class of 1954 Professor of Environmental Chemistry, Professor of Environmental Engineering

Kim DiGiovanni, Ph.D., Quinnipiac University

Nooshin Razani, M.D., University of California, San Francisco

Vivek Shandas, Ph.D., Portland State University

11:00am to 11:15am

Coffee Break

11:15am to 12:30pm

Panel II: Perspectives on Operations: Addressing Green Infrastructure Costs and Capturing Benefits

How are existing green infrastructure installations working in cities and at company facilities? In what circumstances are they meeting performance standards at a lower cost than more traditional apporaches–and where are they not? Are they meeting applicable regulatory standards–and where are they not? What are the most pressing questions facing efforts to improve the benefits and address the costs of their operational performance? 

Caitlin Feehan '14 MEM, Alexandria Renew Enterprises


Gerald Bright '08 MESc, Philadelphia Water Department

Environmental Scientist Supervisor

Jennifer Molnar '04 MEM, The Nature Conservancy

Managing Director and Lead Scientist, Center for Sustainability Science

Paula Conolly, AICP '18, Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange

12:30pm to 1:45pm


1:45pm to 3:00pm

Panel III: Public Funding

What sources of public funding are most used by cities when installing green infrastructure? What are the limits on those sources? What new and additional sources can and should be explored or created? 

David Kooris, State of Connecticut

Director of Rebuild and Design and National Disaster Resilience

Jeff Diehl, RI Infrastructure Bank

Michelle Kondo, Ph.D., USFS Urban Field Station

Rebecca French, Ph.D, CT Department of Housing and Urban Development

Director of National Disaster Resilience and Rebuild by Design
3:00pm to 4:15pm

Panel IV: Private Funding

How are cities tapping into private sources of finance to help fund their green infrastructure work? What are the limits on those sources? What new and additional sources can and should be explored or created? 

Brad Gentry, Yale School of the Environment

Associate Dean for Professional Practice

Anadi Jauhari, Emerging Energy and Environment Investment Group

Senior Managing Director

Benjamin Cohen '17 MEM, /MBA, Quantified Ventures

Ricardo Bayon, Encourage Capital

4:15pm to 4:45pm

Closing Remarks

Brad Gentry, Yale School of the Environment

Associate Dean for Professional Practice

Colleen Murphy-Dunning, Hixon Center for Urban Ecology