Green Infrastructure (GI) is a strategically planned and delivered network of high quality green spaces and other environmental features. It should be designed and managed as a multifunctional resource capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities. Green Infrastructure includes parks, open spaces, playing fields, woodlands, allotments and private gardens.
Green Infrastructure can provide many social, economic and environmental benefits close to where people live and work including:
Places for outdoor relaxation and play
Space and habitat for wildlife with access to nature for people
Climate change adaptation - for example flood alleviation and cooling urban heat islands.
Local food production - in allotments, gardens and through agriculture
Improved health and well-being – lowering stress levels and providing opportunities for exercise
Green Infrastructure should be provided as an integral part of all new development, alongside other infrastructure such as utilities and transport networks.
Natural England is promoting the concept of Green Infrastructure as a way to deliver a wide range of benefits for people and the natural environment together. We believe Green Infrastructure should be delivered via the spatial planning system, as an integral part of new development everywhere. It should also form a key part of proposals to regenerate existing urban areas.
We are working with partners in the Growth Areas, Growth Points and proposed Eco-towns to prepare and implement Green Infrastructure strategies and demonstrate good practice on the ground.
We are currently updating our Green Infrastructure Guidance to reflect recent policy changes. For your information, you can still refer to our existing Green Infrastructure Guidance, which lays out our position in relation to green infrastructure planning and delivery.
You will find case studies: (1.2mb) of some of our recent involvement in green infrastructure work in Green Growth for Green Communities.
(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.