Examining the role of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) as contemporary alternatives for Green Infrastructure funding in London, UK

Lucy Moore, Ian Mell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sustainable sources of funding for investment in Green Infrastructure have become increasingly difficult to identify due to centralised government financing cuts in the UK. Although local government, as traditional normative funders, have adopted innovative approaches to capital and revenue spending there remains a significant gap in how and what resources are supported. Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are one set of stakeholders that potentially have a role to play in addressing funding deficits. As subscriber funded organisations, they work at a local level to enhance economic prosperity, as well as delivering socio-cultural and ecological enhancement in identified urban areas. This paper examines the experience of BIDs in London to debate the influences and barriers to their investing in Green Infrastructure. It argues that BIDs can act as critical advocates for Green Infrastructure planning where the latter aligns with local economic objectives. Moreover, we identify spatial variations in the extent to which BIDs in London engage with Green Infrastructure in their documentation and practice, illustrating differences in the perceived value of the concept. We conclude that BIDs hold the potential to facilitate investment in Green Infrastructure due to their position as conduits of business, local government, and community objectives. However, to fully embrace this role balance is needed between the setting of environmental objectives and the need to support local business needs, land ownership issues, and capital/revenue financing considerations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number127904
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Volume83
Early online date22 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023

Keywords

  • Austerity
  • BIDS
  • Funding
  • Greenspace
  • Local governance
  • Planning

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