Landscape Architects

Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure is about multi functionality of green spaces. Creating networks and linking between green spaces.

Conservation of  natural resources is a key part of the housing and growth decision making process. GI is an important part of landscape planning.

In 2015, Brandon Lewis, MP, wrote to the Landscape Institute. In his letter he states; “The National Planning Policy Framework is clear that local planning authorities should set out a strategic approach in their local plans, planning positively for the creation, protection, enhancement and management of networks of biodiversity and green infrastructure. ”

Also, that “We (the UK Government will) continue to recognise and support the value of green infrastructure in contributing to sustainable development, improved physical and mental health and well-being, as well as a greater sense of pride in the local area.” For full details of the MP’s letter on Green infrastructure 

Multi functionality of green infrastructure

Green Infrastructure is based on the principle that ‘protecting and enhancing nature and natural processes […] are consciously integrated into spatial planning and territorial development’.

These green spaces are multi functional. This larger scale approach to GI makes it vital in work towards tackling adverse effects of climate change and urbanisiation.

Green Infrastructure Strategy

This defines GI as ‘a strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services’ in both rural and urban settings (EC, 2013a).

One of the roles of landscape architects is to work with GI.  This is with the aim to create better places to live and thrive. It is important to conserve natural resources. Natural landscapes linking and enhancement are key.

GI is thus a strategic approach to linked, multi functional networks of green spaces. Getting this right will have far reaching positive outcomes. These end results include improving mental health benefits for people via provision of views of green spaces, and via conserving wildlife. For instance, the sound of bird song and views of trees are known to enhance patient outcomes.

Sustainability and GI

Green infrastructure helps to enhance the sustainability of a town or city. Sustainability is vital in planning land use and decision making for the future benefit of society as a whole.

In particular this can counteract the adverse effects of climate change, higher temperatures and knock on effects, by regulating the adverse effects on water supply (drought) or excess surface water flows in peak rainfall events which can result in flooding. there is a duty to conserve wildlife and biodiversity, via conserving and promoting enhancement of green infrastructure.

The GI of network of green spaces may be in towns and cities or in the wider rural landscape. GI thus comprises, parks, open spaces. It also includes rural landscapes. These include countryside , woodlands, rivers and their flood plains. GI comprises large scale habitats. It includes lowland grassland. Also, major landscape features such as river corridors and lowland meadows make up GI. Green infrastructure management is focused on linking the green corridors.

Resilience via GI

Ecological networks are important. They create resilience in the natural landscape. GI can thus help us to combat the adverse effects of climate change. Green infrastructure at a landscape scale gives us a useful framework for landscape planning. Green Infrastructure is vital at a local grass roots level. LPAs consider GI in their planning decisions for developments such as housing and location of strategic growth areas.

How we can Help

Landvision have expertise in mapping of GI.

If you have any question about the above or want to know costs give us a ring on 01892 782200 or use the contact page

What is Green Infrastructure?

Green infrastructure is a term used to bring all the green assets of  village, town and city together and use this data as a planning tool.  Green infrastructure includes trees,  parks, hedges, grassland, woodland and  road verges. There is more about green infrastructure here on the Landvision Blog

Green infrastructure is defined as interconnecting nature areas, parks and open spaces, recreation grounds, Specimen urban trees, tree lined sitting areas, green squares; also rivers and lakes.

These are the basic components of landscape planning policy using GI as a tool;

  • Overall Vision; strategy based on a landscape scale, locality, community.
  • Landscape character – understanding, creating and protecting, Sense of Place.
  • Site assessment of soils, hydrology, species, habitats.
  • Recording and GIS; SWOT analysis.
  • Long term management, building Sustainability, resilient landscapes.
  • Design & Implementation.
  • Management and after care maintenance of scheme.
  • Delivering, managing and maintaining GI assets. Also, develop a joint approach towards GI for Councils preparing Local Development Framework (LDF) documents.

Advantages of Landscape planning Green Infrastructure (GI)

  • Reconnection with nature.
  • Encouraging wildlife – safeguarding habitat (See our native hedges blog) and creating new habitats.
  • Micro climate benefits – improves living conditions in cities.
  • Carbon capture slows climate change.
  •  Flood prevention and slowing water run off flow rates increases safety.
  • Health and well being – (see link to research showing positive benefits of GI in cities.)

  • Food production- orchards and allotments, community gardens,
  • Recreation – formal and informal uses of green space and countryside.
  • Green Space and Biodiversity – protecting vulnerable species (see our Butterfly ecology and wildlife ponds)

    Green Infrastructure – Integration of resilient landscape planning

  • Combating climate change through Green Infrastructure (GI.)
  • Each green space created or managed effectively will help to contribute to GI and combating Climate change. Carbon capture schemes; lowering temperatures through GI.
  • Shared vision in landscape planning across boundaries.

Best use of landscape – Character and beauty, multi functional spaces that are resilient.

Landscape planning of Green Spaces; brings positive health benefits

  • Research shows that Green Space is positively linked to increased health and well being.”Development of green space should be allocated a more central position in spatial planning policy.”
  • “The percentage of green space inside a one kilometer and a three kilometer radius had a significant relation to perceived general health.
  • The relation was generally present at all degrees of urbanity.
  • The overall relation is somewhat stronger for lower socio economic groups.
  • Elderly, youth, and secondary educated people in large cities seem to benefit more from presence of green areas in their living environment than other groups in large cities.
  • Research shows that the percentage of green space in people’s living environment has a positive association with the perceived general health of residents.
  • Green space seems to be more than just a luxury.
  • Development of green space should be allocated a more central position in GI is an integrated way of bringing development of green space into landscape planning and into more peoples’ lives. Long lasting benefits of GI will be evident for generations. To find out more about how we can help you by landscape planning in GI, or click on Contact Us page; spatial planning policy.”




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