Green Infrastructure

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How we design, develop, and manage our cities has changed as a direct reaction to the diversifying needs of society, the economy and the environment. As a consequence, greater attention has been called for reflecting on whether, and if so, how the physical environment can meet the aspirations of planners, architects, and economists, and their aim to maximize the value of urban areas. Within this debate we can identity a concern from the environment sector that a concentration on economic returns, urban branding, and human activity has undermined the effective management of ecological resources (Benedict and McMahon 2006). This has led to the development of alternative approaches to urban planning with Green Infrastructure, hereafter GI, being one of most prominent options discussed in the academic and practice-based literature addressing this imbalance. Although GI is not a new approach to ecological planning, it could be considered as a contemporary articulation: “new wine in old bottles” (Davies et al. 2006), it does offer powerful insights into how environmental management can be aligned more effectively with economic and sociocultural needs. Looking at GI as a “go-to” approach to urban development provides a suite of options to support the creation of more socioeconomically sustainable and ecologically resilient places (Meerow and Newell 2017). To better understand the added value that GI can provide in urban planning the following examines its development and use within policy and practice illustrating examples of good practice. By assessing how GI has been integrated into decision-making at both a strategic and local level the chapter argues that GI, in its myriad forms, is being used because of its spatial, geographic, and disciplinary flexibility that can help deliver a range of benefits (Mell and Clement 2020). The chapter goes on to discuss how issues of multi-functionality, scale, access, and funding all influence what is delivered, and proposes how different locations can learn to structure investment around a GI-led form of planning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Global Sustainability
Place of PublicationSwiterland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-38948-2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2021


  • Green Infrastructure
  • Urban Planning
  • Environmental Management
  • Multi-functional
  • Connectivity
  • Networks


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