Strategically planned and locally delivered green infrastructure aiming to maintain a high quality of life in a housing growth area.
Cambridgeshire has a long tradition of strategic green space planning, and its 2006 green infrastructure strategy for the Cambridge planning sub region cements its place as a leader in the field.
The strategy focuses on using green infrastructure to improve the quality of life in Cambridgeshire, which has been designated as a housing growth area. 73,300 homes will be built over the next 20 years.
Projects include green corridors, major new green spaces such as country parks and big landscape-scale projects such as Wicken Fen.
The strategy aims to encourage sustainable transport use, improved countryside access and greater biodiversity. It will be updated in 2009-2010 to provide a stronger evidence base, and county-wide coverage. This update will also address broader objectives in the Cambridgeshire Sustainable Community Strategy including health and wellbeing, climate change and new developments in planning through more detailed project proposals.
A range of partners supports the strategy, including local authorities, third-sector organisations and the not-for-profit Cambridgeshire Horizons, which plays a leading role.
They have imaginatively deployed housing growth funding to set the strategic context and to also advance green infrastructure improvements ahead of development.
Green infrastructure does not receive anything like the investment or management that goes into grey infrastructure. Grey to Green will fuel a debate about whether this is smart, given the dangers of climate change and the opportunities to improve public health.
Green infrastructure is the network of green (and blue) elements in and around urban areas. This includes public and private spaces, such as parks, gardens, allotments, cemeteries, trees, green roofs and natural landscape features such as woodland, grassland, moors and wetlands.