Green infrastructure methodologies
In recent years there has been growing understanding of the important role played by the system of green spaces as a whole — the ecological matrix. The need to address the planning and management of these natural systems has also been increasingly recognised. As a result, the strategy for managing natural areas should depend not only on the protection of certain areas that are of high biodiversity or landscape value, but should include the whole territory as a functional unit subject to planning and management. The value of natural areas should emerge from a comprehensive approach in which every open area plays its role and is planned and managed using those criteria.
The most effective way of protecting natural systems and ensuring that they deliver an optimum range of biodiversity, economic and social benefits is through a more integrated approach to land management. This requires an approach to strategic spatial planning that aims to maintain and improve the functionality of ecosystems, facilitate the delivery of ecosystem services and reduce the impacts of urban settlements and infrastructure on natural systems.