Integration of the concept of ecological networks in planning at the local level: Greater Manchester case study

A. Kazmierczak

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


The progressing loss of biodiversity in the UK turned the attention of environmentalists and planners towards landscape scale conservation. One of the methods, specifically applicable to urban environments is the concept of ecological networks. However, to date integration of this concept in planning by local authorities has not been satisfactory. What emerges from the literature review is the hypothesis that the local level is not appropriate for integration of ecological networks concept in planning.The aim of the project is to validate this hypothesis on example of Greater Manchester. This is achieved by answering the questions: 1) how planning policy framework in the UK addresses the issue of ecological networks, 2) to what extent the local authorities in Greater Manchester have implemented the ecological networks concept in Unitary Development Plans (UDPs), 3) whether Greater Manchester can be seen as ecological unity, and if not, what spatial units can be distinguished.The methods used included review of the policies and UDPs with the use of self-devisedchecklists. The ecological conditions of Greater Manchester were examined by analysis of the species and habitats distribution with the use of Jaccard’s binary coefficient and by “centres of gravity” assessment. The results showed that the existing framework of policies embraces the landscape scale approach but do not provide clear and consistent requirements for local planners. Consequently, the majority of local authorities in Greater Manchester havenot identified functional ecological networks. The assessment of ecological conditions revealed that Greater Manchester is not a uniform area and that variety of areas of ecological similarity, extending the size of individual district, can be distinguished.The final conclusion confirmed the hypothesis that the local level is not suitable for implementation of ecological networks into planning, both from organisational and ecological viewpoint. The need for guidance on ecological networks was recognised, and changes in the planning system that would allow greater integration of the ecological networks in planning were recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Salford
Place of PublicationSalford
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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