Progressing Green Infrastructure planning: understanding its scalar, temporal, geo-spatial and disciplinary evolution

Ian Mell, Sarah Clement

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Abstract

Growing recognition has developed between policy-makers and practitioners that green infrastructure (GI) provides an approach to planning for effectively integrating ecosystems, biodiversity, socio-economic and political factors into a coherent framework for environmental management. While there has been progressive development of the concept, a deeper analysis demonstrates that this process has been disjointed. We identify four factors or ‘axes’ related to:
temporal, geographic, scalar, and disciplinary variation, which have shaped how GI is promoted and implemented. This paper traces coalescence and divergence across GI planning, using these four axes to map the concept’s development. It also questions whether the lack of alignment between GI research and Impact Assessment (IA) is grounded in existing disciplinary mentalities or related to governance or geographical variation. From this analysis, we identify that these factors interact with socio-political and economic drivers shaping the terminology used, but this is not translated into effective evaluative practice. Although flexibility is one of the main strengths of GI, we argue that some degree of harmonisation will help advance the use of GI in environmental planning and assessment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalImpact Assessment and Project Appraisal
Early online date16 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Green Infrastructure
  • Terminology
  • Language
  • Geo-spatial
  • Bridging Concept
  • Boundary object

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