Globally urbanisation is posing a significant threat to biodiversity. Yet, human health and well-being depend on ecosystem services, which in turn are largely dependent on biodiversity. Despite a range of initiatives and mechanisms to promote nature conservation in cities it is declining. This chapter provides a summary of features in cities that are associated with greater abundance and richness of a number of species often studied in urban environments: birds, butterflies, pollinators and plants. The most common features identified include proximity to natural habitats, habitat heterogeneity, presence of native species, patch size and management practices. This is followed by some suggestions of how green infrastructure could be planned and designed to increase biodiversity. The chapter then finishes with some challenges and opportunities for green infrastructure and nature conservation.
Danielle Sinnett, Nick Smith and Sarah Burgess
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.
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.
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.