Green infrastructure has become an integral component of land regeneration in many parts of the world. Introducing greenspace into urban design can offer a range of goods and services which are increasingly regarded as essential for modern living. In addition to traditional goods and services, vegetation on brownfield land can stabilise unstable and potentially polluting substrates and demonstrate the sense of regeneration purpose. The technical challenges associated with revegetating brownfield land are now comparatively well understood and worldwide there are many examples of very good practice. However, the ‘greening’ process is complex and the results are often only partially successful. Choice of appropriate vegetation must reflect the substrate and landform on offer – the use of non-native vegetation should be considered alongside native forms. It is important to understand both the dynamic nature of ecosystems and the changing needs for vegetation as regeneration proceeds. Increasingly, the spatial context of greenspace, its connectivity and relationship with buildings and watercourses need to be considered. The human and economic dimensions of greenspace on brownfield land must also be understood in order to establish forms which are sustainable into the future.
Andy J. Moffat
Andy J. Moffat, Danielle Sinnett, Nick Smith and Sarah Burgess
From its origins in nineteenth-century parks green, infrastructure has been an ever-evolving component of cities. This chapter makes some observations based on a number of key trends in society and emerging patterns of green infrastructure provision to make some suggestions for the future. It looks at how our cities and their citizens are changing and the response required if green infrastructure, in terms of its form and function, is to remain relevant. In addition to our cities shaping green infrastructure, it in turn has a fundamental role to play in future-proofing our cities from challenges, such as climate change, and threats to natural ecosystems and their services on which our health and well-being depend. The management of green infrastructure is also likely to evolve the future, particularly in times of austerity, and require ever greater degrees of collaboration between professions and sectors. However, the future, it is argued, also holds new opportunities for green infrastructure, for example, in terms of new technologies to improve is delivery, streamline its management and monitoring, and facilitate community involvement. What is clear is that green infrastructure will need to be a flexible and dynamic resource that is capable of adapting to cities of the future.