:connected and multifunctional landscapes Green Infrastructure MOHAMMED REYAD ABU RASS 120060649
Contents • Origins, Definitions, • Funding • Benefits • Assets, Resource • Functions, Approach, Scale • Strategies • South Essex & Thurrock’s Green Grid • PUSH • Principles and Approach • Landscape Profession Photos throughout illustrate green infrastructure designed, managed, assessed, studied by landscape architects.
Origin of the term GI Ed McMahon “Green space is not an amenity, it’s a necessity.” This is the phrase that underpins his concept of green infrastructure. “We coined the term to reposition the idea for the public,” explaining that the idea itself is not a new one.
Definitions (1) • Explosion of interest doesn’t equate to increased understanding • GI is term that can mean different things to different people • A number of definitions available • Significant common ground within the available definitions: • GI involves natural and managed green areas in both urban and rural settings • GI is about the strategic connection of open green areas and • GI should provide multiple benefits for people (public benefit). www.greeninfrastructure.eu
Definitions (2): Milton Keynes “A planned network of multifunctional green-spaces and interconnecting links, which is designed, developed and managed to meet the environmental, social and economic needs of communities across the sub-region. It is set within, and contributes to a high quality natural and built environment and is required to enhance the quality of life for the present and future residents and visitors and to deliver liveability for sustainable communities.”* * Planning Sustainable Communities: A green infrastructure guide for Milton Keynes and the South Midlands
Definitions (3):Natural England “Green Infrastructure (GI) is a strategically planned and delivered network of high quality green spaces and other environmental features. It should be designed and managed as a multifunctional resource capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities. Green Infrastructure includes parks, open spaces, playing fields, woodlands, allotments and private gardens.” www.naturalengland.org.uk
Definitions (4) “Green infrastructure is the physical environment within and between our cities, towns and villages. It is a network of multi-functional open spaces, including formal parks, gardens, woodlands, green corridors, waterways, street trees and open countryside. It comprises all environmental resources, and thus a green infrastructure approach also contributes towards sustainable resource management.” www.greeninfrastucture.eu
European Landscape Convention (ELC) Article 1 of the ELC states: “ “Landscape” means an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors. The term “landscape” is thus defined as a zone or area as perceived by local people or visitors, whose visual features and character are the result of the action of natural and/or cultural (that is, human) factors. This definition reflects the idea that landscapes evolve through time, as a result of being acted upon by natural forces and human beings. It also underlines that a landscape forms a whole, whose natural and cultural components are taken together, not separately.”
GI Chronology • Victorian Parks and city fathers • Frederick Law Olmstead (Central Park etc) • Garden cities movement • 1947 Acts (green belt, national parks, AONBs) • New Towns’ movement • Ian McHarg: Design with Nature • Regional Parks • Groundwork Trust • Community forests, National forests • Ed McMahon coins the phrase “GI” • PPG17, green flag, open space strategies • Increasing use of GIS • Growth points, ecotowns, city regions • European Landscape Convention (ELC) • Regional Spatial Strategy policy (NW) • Forthcoming planning policy on GI (England)
Climate change adaptation • Climate change mitigation • Water management • Dealing with waste • Food production • Biodiversity enhancement • Economic value • Local distinctiveness • Education • Health and recreation • Stronger communities Benefits
Why is Green Infrastructure Important? • A green infrastructure network supports native species, sustains natural ecological processes, maintains air and water resources, and contributes to our health and quality of life. • Conserving Green Infrastructure can produce economic dividends for communities, businesses, and residents, as well as, provide a framework for sustainable development
Economic benefits of GI • Flood alleviation & water management • Economic growth & investment • Tourism • Climate change adaptation and mitigation • Quality of place • Health & well-being • Land & property values • Labour productivity • Recreation and leisure • Land & biodiversity • Products from the land
GI assets & resource • GI assets are: • Particular areas of land and water • Serve one or more functions of public benefit by virtue of: • Use • Location • Intrinsic value • Multifunctionality • GI resource is a collective of: • open spaces, public places, rivers & coast, farmland, woodlands, natural elements & gardens.
GIfunctions (the case for GI) • Stimulating sport,recreation & play; • Improving health; • Sustaining biodiversity; • Protecting soil, water & natural resources; • Buffering extreme weather events • Providing a comfortable urban environment; • Creating distinctive settings; • Improving coastand water quality; • Sustaining cultural and historical places; • Stimulating business and regeneration; • Creating meeting points for cohesive societies; • Inspiring community environmental stewardship; • Maintaining productive rural landscapes.
GI approach • Wide range of functions • Have a vision • Unlock maximum # of benefits • Demand more from the land • Manage conflicting demands • Retain single/limited land use functions in some areas • Ecosystem services: • Support (necessary for all – soils, photosynthesis etc) • Provision (food, fuel ..) • Regulations (air/water quality, erosion) • Culture (aesthetics, heritage, recreation)
GI Scales: Neighbourhood • Street Trees / Home Zones • Roof Gardens (& Green Roofs) • Pocket Parks • Collective / Private Gardens • Urban Plazas • Village Greens • Local Rights of Way • Dedicated Gardens / Cemeteries • Institutional Open Spaces • Ponds & small woodlands • Play Areas • Local Nature Reserves Neighbourhood Scale
GI Scales: Town/city/district • City Parks • Urban Canals & Waterways • Green Networks • Multi-user routes • Urban Commons • Forest Parks • Country Parks / Estates • Continuous waterfront • Municipal / Cathedral Plazas • Lakes • Major recreational spaces • Landmarks & Vistas & Gateways Town / City /District Scale
GI Scales: City-region • Regional Parks • Rivers & floodplains • Shoreline & Waterfront • Strategic & Long-distance Trails • Major (>100ha) woodlands • Community Forests • Open Access Sites • Landmarks & Vistas • Reservoirs • Environmental Management Initiatives • Strategic Corridors & Gateways City-regional Scale
GI Scales: Strategic • Coastline Management Planning • Cross-boundary green networks (e.g. South Downs – New Forest linkages • Strategic River Catchment Plans • National Trails & Destinations • Strategic Infrastructure corridors • Sub-regional strategies • National policy statements • Behavioural & Societal Change Strategic Scale
GI Strategies • Need to operate at the relevant scale / level • Sub-regional and regional • Embed across a range of policies / strategies • Robust and flexible enough to react to political change - Tories committed to remove the English RDAs and wider “bonfire of the quangos”
Thurrock’s GI & Green Grid + + Biodiversity Open space Green infrastructure = SPD Green grid
Public Benefit • Central to the research was the area’s social, environmental and economic characteristics • Potential for GI to address the deficits and deliver benefits in relation to: • Enjoying and protecting the special qualities of the environment • Restoring/enhancing environments degraded, in decline or at risk • Community needs and aspirations • Economic prosperity • Used GIS to bring together datasets and represent spatially the areas in need and the multiple benefits
Example of GI principles • Contribute to management, enhancement, conservation of local landscape • Contribute to protection & conservation of historic, archaeological, built heritage • Maintain and enhance biodiversity • Provide connectivity, avoid fragmentation • Be designed to facilitate sustainable long-term management • Create new recreation facilities • Link town and country • Take account of natural systems • Designed to high standards • Provide for social inclusion, community development and life-long learning.
Roles of landscape professionals • Multidisciplinary approach • All scales • Contributing to: • Policy guidance • Strategies • Local Development Frameworks • Character/Sensitivity studies • Development control • Environmental assessment • Masterplanning • Design and implementation • Management • Research • Facilitation & creative engagement
3.& 4. GI Functions: definition & need • recreation – public • DEFINITION: area anyone can use without having to pay or get keys • GREATEST NEED: high population density (present & future), low population mobility, poor health, much leisure time • water storage • DEFINITION: Stores flood waters. • GREATEST NEED: upstream of urban areas intersecting flood plains • shading from sun • DEFINITION: Shading of people, buildings, and surfaces from solar radiation. • GREATEST NEED: high population density (present & future), high quality agricultural land, schools, shopping areas, visitor attractions
What you can do.... • Raise awareness about GI • Lobby planning system at all levels • Adopt a multi-disciplinary approach • Press for vision for the natural environment and functions • Ignore administrative boundaries – promote ELC “landscape” definition • Promote advance consideration – GI often needed before growth (levies) • Make the case for revenue as well as capital expenditure • Argue for investment in management • Communicate the benefits • Involve the private sector • Provide case studies to the LI library.