Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure (GI) is a strategically planned network of high quality natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features, which is designed and managed to provide diversity of ecosystem services and protect biodiversity in both rural and urban settings.

More specifically it aims to improve nature’s ability to deliver multiple valuable ecosystem goods and services, such as clean air or water. This subsequently:

  • Delivers better quality of life and human well-being, for instance by providing a high quality environment in which to live and work
  • Improves biodiversity, for example by reconnecting isolated nature areas and enhancing the mobility of wildlife across wider landscapes
  • Protects us against climate change and other environmental disasters, for example by reducing flooding, storing carbon or preventing soil erosion
  • Encourages a smarter, integrated approach to development which ensures that Europe’s limited space is used in as efficient and coherent a way as possible
  • Performs several functions in the same spatial area. In contrast to most ‘grey’ infrastructures, which usually have only one single objective, GI is multifunctional, helping to promote win-win solutions

To live sustainably we must take full account of the environmental effect of our resource use and consumption patterns. Since over half of the world's population live in cities or urban centres, these areas are the obvious place to start making positive environmental changes.

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