Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Landscape Architecture

Committee Chair

Shan Jiang

Committee Co-Chair

Elisabeth Orr

Committee Member

Elisabeth Orr

Committee Member

Charlie Yuill

Committee Member

Michael Strager


At present, it is evident that there is a shift from rural to an urban settlement which results in high demand for residential buildings and other urban infrastructure. Blue – Green Infrastructure (BGI) is a system of using blue (water) and green (nature) to address urban and environmental challenges. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the environmental, social, and economic benefits of blue-green infrastructure in an urbanized area in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The study involves the utilization of Geographic Information System (GIS) to determine water quality level resulting from nonpoint source pollution through acquiring elevation data; watershed; and processing the elevation data through performing appropriate watershed delineation for the study area. Different landscape models (i-Tree Design, i-Tree Landscape) were explored to determine the different benefits attached to BGI Infrastructure aside aesthetic and refuge benefits from the Landscape Performance Series database. The i-Tree Landscape gives one an idea of areas where particulate matter and atmospheric gases exist, and areas to prioritize planting of trees. A pilot scale-site was chosen from the discovered areas to prioritize plantation with the help of some selected criteria. Five design patterns (Green Parks, Riverfront, Activity Nodes, Green Parking, and Green Streets) were adopted an I-Tree Design model was used to get the pre and post environmental and economic benefits of trees on a 10-yr. expectation plan. The water quality model, I discovered areas that have high total suspended solids (TSS) level giving one an idea on the water quality of the area. The areas pointed out as areas to prioritize planting by the i- Tree Landscape model also has a high TSS level from the GIS delineation to further justify the outcomes of the two models used. sustainable design concepts were provided on how to practice/ incorporate blue-green infrastructure in areas that need interventions towards creating a balance between the built and natural environment.