Green infrastructure (GI)

Dalzell Estate in Motherwell

What is green infrastructure (GI) and why is it important?

Green infrastructure – occasionally ‘blue-green infrastructure’ – is one of the fundamental elements of landscape practice. It refers to planned networks of natural features in and between communities, including open green spaces, waterways, and other vegetative systems.

With appropriate planning, design, and management, GI has the potential to deliver many benefits, from providing sustainable transport links to mitigating the effects of climate change.

The importance of GI cannot be underestimated. The LI aims to ensure that policymakers fully recognise the potential of GI and nature-based solutions to address a range of current and future challenges, including the climate and nature crises. The best GI is multifunctional; it can help to mitigate and adapt to climate change, improve health and wellbeing, manage water flow and quality, enhance biodiversity, control air pollution, and make places more beautiful, among many other indispensable benefits.

Our position on GI

Green infrastructure: an integrated approach to land use

Our March 2013 position statement sets out why GI is crucial to a sustainable future and showcases a range of successful GI projects.

Aimed at public and private sector bodies, this publication is useful for both clients and practitioners. The guide shows how collaboration is key to delivering multifunctional landscapes, and why landscape professionals should take the lead on GI integration.

Read ‘Green Infrastructure: an integrated approach to land use’ (2013) (PDF, 1.7MB). For print copies, please email the policy team via

Invest in green infrastructure

Our 2011 video gives a quick overview of GI and how to make the most of using green features and assets to encourage biodiversity and more.

Green infrastructure: connected and multifunctional landscapes

The LI published our very first position statement on GI in April 2009.

Read ‘Green infrastructure: connected and multifunctional landscapes’ (2009) (PDF, 1.9MB). For print copies, please email the LI policy team via

GI in government policy

Since the LI published our first position statement on GI in 2009, policymakers have become increasingly aware of its vital role in creating more sustainable places. The concept has been rapidly mainstreamed into government policy, both in the UK and overseas.

In the UK, support for GI is included in planning policy across all four nations, as well as in wider policy frameworks such as the National Adaptation Programme (NAP).

In its 25-Year Environment Plan, the UK Government committed both to delivering more GI and to ‘producing stronger new standards’ to improve the quality and accessibility of GI. The LI are supporting Natural England to create the Green Infrastructure Framework for England; visit for more details.

The Green Infrastructure Partnership

The LI is an official supporter of the Green Infrastructure Partnership, a network of 2,000+ individuals and organisations who collectively seek to influence GI at a strategic level. The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) manages the Green Infrastructure Partnership; visit for more details.