A region-wide approach that successfully employs planning and advocacy to embed green infrastructure as a regeneration and sustainable development tool.
Green infrastructure in the North West is being promoted as a critical infrastructure, alongside transport, waste, energy and water. This approach builds on the region’s 30-year tradition of strategic greening initiatives to drive transformation and facilitate a regional renaissance.
Strong progress has been made in the last five years by effective working between a number of government, academic and third sector organisations, successfully influencing key regional actors. Projects that focus on delivery of identified benefits and multiple functions are key features of the regeneration and sustainable development programmes. Examples include the two Community Forests in and around Liverpool and Manchester, and programmes like Newlands.
Special purpose vehicles such as a Green Infrastructure Unit, and Natural Economy North West co-ordinate projects, research the economic benefits, and facilitate work at regional, sub regional and local level. At the local level, local authorities are engaged in spatial planning, and considering how the development control process can facilitate green infrastructure creation and long-term management.
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.