Habitat Action Plan: Urban Green Infrastructure

By | August 7, 2008

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Green infrastructure (GI) is defined in the North West Green Infrastructure Guide (GRITT 2007) thus:

“Green infrastructure is the region’s life support system – the network of natural environmental components and green and blue spaces that lies within and between the north west’s cities, towns and villages and provides multiple social, economic and environmental benefits.”

Urban green infrastructure is a holistic way of thinking about the natural resources and ecosystem services that support our way of life in Merseyside. Biodiversity is an integral part of our urban green infrastructure, fulfilling vital roles in ecosystem services and contributing, in myriad ways, to the well-being of the people who live and work here.

Despite the importance of our urban biodiversity, the existing BAP framework is not the ideal mechanism to look after it. The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution noted this failing at both national and local levels stating: “national conservation policies fail fully to recognise the special nature of urban habitats. Implementation of the UK’s Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) (1994), national BAPs and the designation of SSSIs currently provide less protection to urban sites than rural ones” and “many urban BAPs fail to identify the potential for maximising biodiversity through advocating green infrastructure, ecosystem function, and integrating features onto existing buildings and new development” (RCEP 2007).