Physical, social and attitudinal barriers restrict full participation in many aspects of life for disabled and elderly people. Access to green infrastructure and the public realm that connects homes and workplaces to green spaces is no exception; many parks and green spaces are not geared to the needs of disabled people. Exclusion from the desirable benefits to health and well-being associated with access and use of green infrastructure represents a denial of the rights of disabled people. Finding ways to include disabled people could benefit everyone, not least because it makes business sense to facilitate the spending power of disabled and elderly people and encourage long-term independence. Legislation outlaws discriminatory behaviour and yet it continues. Strategies for making changes are suggested, including auditing green spaces and developing action plans. The principles of an inclusive or universal approach, based on the adoption of the social model of disability are put forward. Ultimately action for change rests on the shoulders of all the professionals whose work affects the design and management of green spaces and there is no substitute for committed and imaginative professionals who are prepared to work with the users of green space to make a real difference.
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Tim Sunderland, Sophie Rolls and Tom Butterworth
In order to justify investment in green infrastructure, project sponsors will often need formal appraisal of the benefits. Economic appraisal is attractive because it is influential and can provide a value for money assessment. Economic impact appraisal measures only the contribution that a project makes to economic growth. This approach will significantly understate the benefits of the project because most of the benefits of green infrastructure are non-market. Economists use cost–benefit analysis (CBA) to assess value for money and CBA can include non-market benefits, giving them a financial proxy value. However, it can only extend as far as hypothetical markets and has difficulty picking up more subtle improvements, such as reducing isolation or improving mental health. Using economic appraisal tools in this way implicitly takes on neoclassical economics’ critical assumptions. In reality the economy is a subset of the wider earth system and has numerous critical dependencies on it. By extension cities are dependent on their wider environment for survival. This means that strategic sustainability concerns must be addressed within a broader strategic framework, and it is only within, and limited by, such a framework that economic appraisal tools can support sustainable decision-making.
Carla Gonçalves and Paulo Silva
This chapter investigates the relation between green infrastructures and urban territories in contexts in which landscape had suffered recent and sudden changes. Taking the example of Portugal, the methodology applied uses the European Landscape Convention’s concepts to discuss how landscapes can be perceived and how spatial planning tools can integrate these new concepts. In order to discuss this, information about the recent revision of a land-use plan in the western coast of Portugal, the municipality of Óbidos is provided. The chapter suggests that new opportunities, but also new challenges, exist in terms of integrating new landscape concepts and new spatial planning paradigms. This implies also the search of new meanings for green infrastructure.
Susannah Gill, Paul Nolan, Tom Butlin, Tom Ferguson and Clare Olver
Green infrastructure planning has come a long way in the North West of England over the past ten years. In this time, it has developed from a largely unknown term to one embedded in policy, with a robust evidence base and tools to support the concept, examples of plans and strategies, and delivery funded through non-traditional sources. This chapter explores this journey, told from the perspective of The Mersey Forest, which has been a key champion of the agenda in the region. As such, the focus is primarily on work that it has been involved with. The chapter draws out the relevance from The Mersey Forest’s experience to the strategic planning of green infrastructure elsewhere.
Green infrastructure is a key entity in urban planning politics due to its multifunctionality. It performs functions across the three areas of sustainability: environment, society and economy and is therefore crucial for the promotion of sustainability and quality of life. Like all systems, green infrastructure should follow efficiency principles in order to better perform these functions. Consequently, the planning of the green infrastructure must follow a methodology based on these principles, as they will guide its performance. The planning and design of green infrastructure must take into account the functions that each landscape has the capability of performing, because every city has its own character, needs and potential. Since each urban landscape is unique, specific strategies must be found to protect and value the most important socio-ecological elements, in an integrated way. It is important to consider not only the character of the whole metropolis but, at the same time, take each municipality individually, which implies a more complex approach. This chapter presents a methodology for the planning of the green infrastructure in urban landscapes. It consists of a series of steps, applied to a case study in order to demonstrate the functionality, simplicity and processes of the method.
The term green infrastructure encompasses a broad range of spaces and other vegetated elements. These may include, for example, individual street trees, green roofs and walls, green corridors, through to amenity spaces, parks and gardens, and spaces for water management. These should, ideally, come together to form a network of connected and complementary features that deliver a range of ecosystem services. This chapter explores the types of green infrastructure that comprise this network based on their form and function. This typology is further developed to consider the characteristics of green infrastructure including management, size and scale, ownership and use. The different functions that each type of green infrastructure may be expected to provide are then presented, categorised as social and cultural, ecological or economic functions, although the multifunctional nature of most types of green infrastructure is emphasised. Finally, it looks at how this multifunctional green infrastructure can be achieved, arguing that this needs to be considered from the design stage and at all spatial scales if a strategic network is to be delivered.
Kieron J. Doick and Jeffrey Wilson
This chapter examines the process and value of monitoring and evaluation for green infrastructure, and how logic models can be used to get the most from the development and implementation of a monitoring and evaluation strategy. To this end, the second section introduces the chapter. Definitions of, and basic principles for, conducting monitoring and evaluation are provided, and a scenario is described that is used within the chapter for examples of how to monitor and evaluate green infrastructure. The next section describes logic models and their use. Then there is a step-by-step look at the do–review approach to monitoring and evaluation, followed by worked examples: seven logic models for the delivery of ecosystem services by one type of green infrastructure – community woodland. The final section concludes and presents a challenge for monitoring and evaluation to be implemented throughout the lifecycle of green infrastructure planning, delivery and management, and to promote the delivery of ecosystem services by green infrastructure for the benefit of society.
João Marques-da-Cruz and Eduardo Costa Pinto
This chapter demonstrates that beyond the intentional dichotomy suggested in its title, the transformation of contemporary landscape in a sustainable way implies the rejection of any form of dualism, be it ‘green’ and ‘grey’, Natura and Cultura, Man and Nature or wilderness and artefact. This ancient conceptual frontier, often reduced to a line creating in the landscape hermetic spaces, has definitely become obsolete and unsustainable in today’s landscape where humans have conquered universal ubiquity. In this new and complex reality, mitigation actions and compensation strategies, capable of counteracting environmental degradation, are increasingly less effective. Therefore, it is imperative to understand and manipulate landscape processes – cultural and natural – in order to achieve a ‘trajective continuity’, that is, to inscribe effectively our values in the places we inhabit and be transformed by it.
Danielle Sinnett, Nick Smith and Sarah Burgess
Danielle Sinnett, Katie Williams, Morag Lindsay and Carol Dair
Good quality public open space (POS) is now an essential component of neighbourhood planning and design. The impact of the quality, design and maintenance of POS on their use has been documented. However, the role that the surrounding neighbourhood might play in encouraging the use of POS has received little attention. This research uses data from 13 relatively new ‘sustainable’ developments (that is, developments with more sustainable features than the norm) in the UK to determine the impact of the design and quality of the neighbourhoods on their residents’ use of POS. Logistic regression was used to analyse data from a survey of the physical characteristics of the neighbourhoods along with responses to a household questionnaire. Results suggested that those living in well-integrated, dense neighbourhoods with a number of uses were more likely to use POS than those living in neighbourhoods without these features. Residents with greater access to play facilities and parks, and those in neighbourhoods with attractive features, or where the development is in keeping with local character were also more likely to visit POS. The study illustrates the importance of a number of elements of urban form and neighbourhood quality in influencing the use of POS.