This EU vision of green infrastructure includes cities and towns

Europe is sending confusing messages on Green Infrastructure with some of its latest reports. This short document Building a Green Infrastructure for Europe gives a very positive view of what can be achieved in all parts of the landscape. It champions the sort of ideas and interventions that can really make a difference to people's lives and livelihoods.

In contrast, a recent research report on Spatial Analysis of Green Infrastructure appears to write off all urban areas and most of lowland England.

One EU vision of green infrastructure

Well, it's a fair defence that the intended audiences and  core messages of these two documents are very different, with one advocating using green infrastructure as a way to improve the landscape, and the other focusing on restoring natural landscapes. And the study does acknoweldge it only ddresses rural GI. But the truth is, that the core difference is in how they define green infrastructure. Both perspecives - the 'ecosystem services' and the 'natural assets' views are valid, yet they throw up such contradictory actions: 'Transform the cities", "Restore the wilderness!" Surely there is a continuum from one to the other?

It's interesting that Sir John Lawton's report Making Space for Nature made no such distinction, with its vision for rebuilding an ecological network across the whole of England.


This EU vision of green infrastructure limits it to, effectively, near-wilderness areas

European Green Networks