What is Green Infrastructure?
The Landscape Institute defines Green Infrastructure (GI) as:
"the network of natural and semi-natural features, green spaces, rivers and lakes that intersperse and connect villages, towns and cities. It is a natural, service-providing infrastructure that is often more cost-effective, more resilient and more capable of meeting social, environmental and economic objectives than 'grey' infrastructure."
GI is an approach to planning, from regional to site scales, which recognises and makes best use of natural resources.
It is related to concepts such as ecosystem services and natural capital (which recognise the multiple benefits provided by natural resources), but is the implementation of these concepts into new sites and areas.
Why use Green Infrastructure?
GI is increasingly becoming a standard requirement, in statutory Local Plans, which applies to all development projects.
It requires development teams to think of landscape not only in aesthetic terms but also as a vital component of living landscapes and liveable cities.
This is realised through awareness and utilisation of techniques such as sustainable drainage, and the value of existing ecological corridors and habitats on a site. The result will be a richer environment which serves ours and nature's needs.
We strongly believe in maximising the sustainability benefits - which are present in all forms of development and change - for our clients and the wider community.
Green infrastructure is implicit in our holistic approach as landscape architects, and is supported by our professional body, the Landscape Institute, which has published guidance on the subject. We provide a pragmatic professional service which draws together the multiple benefits of GI into a cohesive approach to site design.