Implementing Green Infrastructure in Spatial Planning in Europe | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
April 2019
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© 2019 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

Interest in green infrastructure (GI) has grown in research, policy and planning in recent decades. The central idea behind GI is the understanding of the physical non-built-up environment as an infrastructure capable of delivering a wide variety of benefits to society, including the ability to preserve biodiversity; to provide food, feed, fuel and fibre; to adapt to and mitigate climate change and to contribute to enhanced human health and quality of life. The European Union (EU) has had a GI strategy since 2013, and member states are involved in several strategic and applied GI initiatives and projects. The aim of this study is to explore if and how the European strategy has been implemented. The study adds to the body of knowledge of current GI policies and measures in Europe via an online survey and insights into previous research. The survey reveals that GI is integrated into one or more policy sectors in all 32 countries covered. In 11 of the 32 countries, GI-specific policies are already in place or are being drawn up at a national level. In general, the respondents see the responsibility for GI policy and strategy as a matter of national governments and the implementation as a matter of local governments. They also see the LIFE+ and Horizon 2020 project funds, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), as the most important EU funding sources for the implementation of the GI strategy. The study also identifies availability of georeferenced information, zoning and biotope area factor as three of the spatial planning tools used to implement GI.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Slätmo, Elin
Nilsson, Kjell
Turunen, Eeva


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