Green Infrastructure (GI) is a network of high quality green and blue spaces and other environmental features. It needs to be planned and delivered at all spatial scales from national to neighbourhood levels. The greatest benefits will be gained when it is designed and managed as a multifunctional resource capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits (ecosystem services) for local communities.
Green Infrastructure includes parks, open spaces, playing fields, woodlands, wetlands, grasslands, river and canal corridors allotments and private gardens.
Green Infrastructure can provide many social, economic and environmental benefits close to where people live and work including:
MEBIE - the Micro-Economic Benefits of Investment in the Environment Review provides an evidence summary of the benefits of Green Infrastructure. It is focussed around green infrastructure interventions and is structured using the Ecosystem Approach.
Literature and case studies across the world show that investment in green infrastructure can act as a catalyst to local economic growth of an area through:
Defra and Natural England have commissioned a report together this evidence in once place. This report is due to be published later this summer (2013) and a link will be added here as soon as it is available.
Natural England is supporting the concept of Green Infrastructure as a way to deliver a wide range of benefits for people, the economy and the natural environment together. We believe Green Infrastructure can be delivered via the spatial planning system, as an integral part of new development everywhere and alongside other infrastructure such as utilities and transport networks. It can also form a key part of proposals to regenerate existing urban areas.
For your information, you can still view to our previous Green Infrastructure Guidance. Please note that this refers to planning policies that have been surpassed by the National Planning Policy Framework.
For further information on Green Infrastructure please contact Tom Butterworth at Tom.Butterworth@NaturalEngland.org.uk
(5 March 2013) The benefits of green space to England’s economic, environmental and physical well-being will be outlined tomorrow (Wednesday) in a speech by Mike Grace, Natural England’s Head of Sustainable Land Use.
(9 October 2012) Read Tom Butterworth’s presentation from yesterday’s Highline Symposium at the Garden Museum.