The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) is pressing the case for wider provision of green infrastructure (GI) in its latest briefing report.
Multifunctional urban green infrastructure, which is aimed at policy-makers and practitioners, discusses the drivers and barriers to increasing green infrastructure provision in our towns and cities.
With an increase in land use pressure coming from more than 80 percent of people living in urban areas, and an increase in temperature due to climate change, the report says that it is essential that green infrastructure is embedded into planning and funding priorities.
GI can provide numerous solutions to environmental challenges. Cooling can be achieved through green corridors, street trees and green roofs; restoration of natural river channels aids flood prevention; and community involvement in the design and management of GI can build a sense of social inclusion and stewardship.
However, the report states that GI has not been addressed in an integrated manner. CIWEM calls for the current range of planning policy statements to be cross-referenced to promote multi-functionality and sustainable approaches to urban planning.
CIWEM Director of Policy, Justin Taberham, said: “Urban temperatures in some cities are creeping up to levels that could make them unlivable in if climate change projections come to pass. This could have serious implications for public health and urban dwellers.
“Therefore, CIWEM believes the aim should be to achieve areas of multi-functionality in urban areas where land is valuable and the challenges are greatest. Green infrastructure should be embedded into spatial planning and viewed as part of the wider infrastructure of urban areas.”
Multifunctional urban green infrastructure is available to download here.