Green infrastructure must not be neglected
The Statement, entitled ‘Green infrastructure: connected and multifunctional landscapes’, acknowledges the fact that growing political awareness of GI has seen it increasingly used in public policy. However, it seeks to address the resulting lack of understanding that has arisen regarding definitions of GI and its true importance in the planning, design and management of land. The statement also includes several case studies to demonstrate the pivotal contribution that landscape architecture can make.
The GI working group – a sub-group of Policy Committee members consisting of Annie Coombs, Richard Copas, Ian Philips and Martin Kelly – was formed to draft the position statement, supported by the LI Secretariat.
The group met regularly towards the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 before the first draft went to consultation with members. There were 70 responses, which proved invaluable in refining the document and also enabled the group to get case study submissions for use in the final publication. The working group reviewed these case studies and five were selected to appear in the position statement. Others will also be appearing on the LI’s website.
Further refining of the document was then carried out by the other members of Policy Committee before final approval by Executive Committee earlier in the Spring.
Annie Coombs commented: “Green infrastructure is rapidly being embraced into mainstream strategic planning. It is increasingly used in regional strategic and spatial documents. However, it is clear that the GI term is being used to mean different things in different situations and places. GI is viewed mainly in terms of nature conservation/biodiversity by some. Others see it as covering a wider range of functions including health, leisure, quality of place and some are now using it to mean infrastructure with an environmental purpose such as wind farms.”
She added: “Spatially, some regions define GI as being life support systems; namely, all open space/countryside/water, whereas others define it as linkages and networks. These differences are inevitable with the emergence of the concept from a range of sources. As landscape professionals, we need to keep abreast of current thinking in this regard. It is our sphere of influence.”
A similar drafting process will be employed in the development of the next position statement, which will be on the subject of housing. To get involved, please contact the policy team, Policy and Public Affairs Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org