Green Infrastructure: a successful tool in strategic land use planning

The Nordic countries are known for their green cities, full of accessible green and blue spaces and surrounded by agricultural land, vast forests and lakes. Viewed in aggregate these green and blue areas are a network. A concept called Green Infrastructure has been developed to highlight the importance, development and planning of this network. The existing Nordic Green Infrastructure offers a wide variety of benefits to Nordic societies and inhabitants; to preserve biodiversity, to mitigate and adapt to climate change and to provide business opportunities.

The use of urban parks for leisure, recreation or tourism have a clear, positive impact on people's physical and mental health. Strategic planning is necessary to create a green infrastructure with more positive impacts than a number of scattered green objects. Despite of the increased awareness of the positive impacts of green spaces for people's health and wellbeing, as well as for environment and climate, there is a clear need to strengthen its role in strategic planning. In this Policy Brief we identify how that can be done in the Nordic countries and also found interesting examples from Greater Copenhagen (DK) and Hämeenlinna (FI).

This publication is part of the ESPON project GRETA - Green infrastructure: enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem services for territorial development. More about ESPON GRETA

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Consultation on global green infrastructure standard

The International Union of Conservation on Nature (IUCN) is consulting on a global standard for nature-based solutions. The environmental network claims that without a robust, hands-on tool green infrastructure ‘may remain a general metaphor’ that ‘marginally contributes to solving societal challenges rather than becoming integral solution to overcoming them. For more details, click here.

Newcastle University launches facility for GI study

Newcastle University has opened a National Green Infrastructure Facility to help nature-based solutions for responding to extreme weather, climate change and limited natural resources. The facility will allow researchers to better understand surface water drainage infrastructure and how green infrastructure can be used to manage potentially adverse weather patterns. For more details, click here.

Scotland signs on to mass tree initiative

Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has signed on to a global initiative to restore 350 million hectares of deforested and degraded landscapes by 2030. The commitment makes Scotland the first European country to take part in the Bonn Challenge, which is predicted to produce approximately $84bn per year in net benefits. For more details, click here.

Online tool promises to revolutionise value modelling

Developers of a soon-to-be-released online tool claim that their product will help boost investment in green infrastructure by using big data to accurately model the environmental, economic and social value of schemes. Greenkeeper will measure the complete value of green infrastructure schemes and demonstrate how they can be improved via interventions. For more details, click here.