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 Accounting (which recognise and quantify the multiple benefits provided by natural resources).
Why use Green Infrastructure?
Green Infrastructure is increasingly becoming a standard requirement, in statutory Local Plans, which applies to all development projects. GI is fundamental to achieving Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG), which is now mandatory for all development in England: Developers must deliver a BNG of 10%.
GI and BNG legislation require 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 (SuDS), natural flood management (NFM), and the value of existing ecological corridors and habitats on a site. It also draws upon Urban Forestry principles, as healthy and growing urban tree populations are vital in dealing with climate change effects. The result will be a richer and more beautiful 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. To supplement our own skills, we are also able to draw upon experts in the fields of Green Infrastructure, Biodiversity Net Gain, and Urban Forestry.
2B responded swiftly to our call for urgent design work and created a range of very high quality graphics and visualisation at short notice. Communication was excellent. They suggested interesting ideas that resulted in an enhanced end product. They know their stuff and are passionate about what they do, which made working with the 2B team a really great experience.