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The Partnership is working to remove the barriers to effective delivery of green infrastructure (GI) in the built environment.

This will be an important component to the delivery of the GCV Green Network.

Our current work is founded on many studies and analyses undertaken by the Partnership to build up an understanding of what urban GI is, and assessment of its potential role in delivering green network benefits.

Approach

A study recently completed by the Partnership estimated that approximately 35% of the capital cost of the delivery of the GCV Green Network is associated with GI in the built environment. It is essential that we ensure that delivery of Green Infrastructure is mainstreamed in all new built development and retrofitted into existing urban areas where it can provide most benefit.

Work To Date

Over  the last decade the Partnership has completed GI Design Studies  in a range of urban locations across the GCV region which aimed to present options to planners and developers about how multi-functional GI can be integrated into new and existing developments.

From these studies we were able to more clearly express what urban GI is and the functions it should perform. Based on this understanding we promoted our ‘Integrated Green Infrastructure (IGI) Approach’.

Discussions and applications of the IGI Approach with planners and developers (e.g. Maidenhill) have revealed some of the technical, procedural and perceptual barriers to delivery of GI in new development.

The Partnership is currently working on a project entitled: ‘Overcoming barriers to green infrastructure delivery in new residential development in the CSGN’. The aim of this project is to:

“identify potential actions to reduce or remove barriers that prevent the development industry from delivering green infrastructure associated with new residential developments which meets the expectations for green infrastructure delivery as a component of the CSGN vision”.

The project intends to address the following research questions:

  1. What should be regarded as ‘effective delivery’ of GI in residential development in the context of the Central Scotland Green Network?
  2. How effective is current national and local planning policy toward the delivery of GI in new residential development?
  3. What are the reasons given (the ‘barriers’) by developers or planning authorities where ‘effective delivery’ of GI in residential development is not achieved?
  4. What are the potential solutions to overcoming the barriers to GI delivery in new residential development?

As part of this project the Partnership has completed a review of CSGN local authority policies on green infrastructure in built development. This study used ideas from the Partnership’s ‘IGI Approach’ and a GI benchmark developed by the University of the West of England and Gloucester Wildlife Trust to develop a suite of assessment criteria for current policies relevant to GI. The assessment criteria effectively are an expression of what we think ‘effective delivery’ of GI in residential development in the context of the CSGN should be.

The study revealed that there is a lot of missing, incomplete and weak GI policy across the 19 CSGN local authorities. However, the study also found that when the best individual GI policies from the 19 CSGN local authorities are collated there is almost perfect coverage of the GI policy Assessment Criteria, proving that it is possible to have comprehensive GI policies in statutory documents.

A suite of model policies can be identified which could inform new Local Development Plans, Supplementary Guidance and Scottish Planning Policy.

Applications

The application of this work should:

  • Influence improvements in GI policies and guidance in support of planning applications;
  • Raise awareness of the what GI is required within the built environment for strategic planners, development management planners, planning consultants, and the development industry;
  • Build the business case for integrated green infrastructure in the built environment;
  • Lead to better delivery of well-designed and managed multi-functional green infrastructure integrated into the built environment in the GCV region.

Next Steps

The Partnership intends to complete the ‘Overcoming barriers to green infrastructure delivery in new residential development in the CSGN’ by:

  • Reviewing completed GI design and delivery in residential developments;
  • Gathering evidence on the barriers to effective delivery;
  • Gathering evidence on the business case for developers for GI in new developments;
  • Develop proposed actions to overcome barriers to GI delivery.

Outputs