Table of Contents

Handbook on Green Infrastructure

Handbook on Green Infrastructure

Planning, Design and Implementation

Edited by Danielle Sinnett, Nicholas Smith and Sarah Burgess

Green infrastructure is widely recognised as a valuable resource in our towns and cities and it is therefore crucial to understand, create, protect and manage this resource. This Handbook sets the context for green infrastructure as a means to make urban environments more resilient, sustainable, liveable and equitable. It then provides a comprehensive and authoritative account for those seeking to achieve sustainable green infrastructure in urban environments of how to plan, design and implement green infrastructure at different spatial scales.

Chapter 6: Green infrastructure planning: policy and objectives

Ian Mell

Subjects: environment, environmental management, environmental politics and policy, urban and regional studies, urban studies


Green infrastructure policy and practice has developed extensively since its first conceptions in the late 1990s. Throughout the first 15 years of the twenty-first century the level of engagement with the concept from academics, politician and practitioners has diversified as its meanings has diversified. As a consequence the exploratory discussions of green infrastructure presented in the academic and grey literature has evolved to address, first, the expanding range of delivery opportunities attributed to green space planning, and secondly to act as a ‘go-to’ form of landscape and urban planning in the UK, but also globally. This chapter presents a discussion of this development illustrating the chronological and conceptual shifts in green infrastructure thinking witnessed over this period. This draws on examples of policy at a number of scales to highlight how the conceptual principles of green infrastructure are being debated by decision-makers and strategic planners, and discusses the subsequently influence of this process on practice at a number of scales. The chapter concludes that diversity in how green infrastructure is discussed will continue as the concept is applied in context-specific ways and should be seen as a positive outcome of green infrastructure planning.

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