Greening Europe

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Greening Europe

Assessing the status of green infrastructure elements


Green infrastructure planning and policy development require a preliminary understanding of the status of certain key elements that are crucial to its successful realisation. A methodology was therefore developed by the GreenInfraNet project to determine the status of these elements in the 11 partner regions. The process involved the following steps:

  • The definition of the relevant green infrastructure elements in the respective regions
  • The identification of the main factors/attributes for qualitative analysis
  • The elaboration of a system for ranking the factors for a quantitative analysis
  • The preparation of country profiles for further analysis
  • Analysis of country profiles by main factors
  • Initial conclusions regarding green infrastructure planning instruments and policy development in the partner regions

Green infrastructure elements that were identified as having a high level of relevance were:

  • National ecological networks
  • The Natura 2000 network
  • National protected areas
  • Local or regional protected areas
  • Areas with high nature value (such as farmland and forests)
  • Other areas relevant for the protection of biodiversity (Ramsar sites)
  • Green infrastructure elements in urban areas
  • River floodplains and green corridors
  • Other initiatives

These elements were then scored in relation to a range of factors that determine the effectiveness of green infrastructure development, as follows:

  • The level of landscape connectivity
  • The spatial coverage of the element relative to total surface area
  • The legislative framework
  • Funding
  • Methodology
  • Public awareness and acceptance.

Data collection was carried out at the territorial level represented by the partner (regional or local), or, where this was not possible, at the national level. During the evaluation, a score of between 0 and 3 was given for each factor (or between 1 and 3 for spatial coverage). If precise data or information were not known, the assigned values could be based on expert judgement. Partners were also asked to elaborate on their scores in order to justify the ranking.

© The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe