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Greening Europe

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Greening Europe

Progress in the development and implementation of green infrastructure

Introduction

The challenge of ensuring that green spaces effectively deliver all their potential benefits and services has inspired a wide range of new green infrastructure initiatives across Europe. These initiatives are framed in close cooperation with measures designed to achieve other policy objectives, such as agriculture, urban development, transport, recreation and climate change adaptation, in order to ensure multiple, cross-sectoral benefits.

Many green infrastructure approaches are being developed at the regional and local levels. Valuable experience is being gathered on how the green infrastructure concept can be developed and applied by local and regional authorities, particularly with respect to methodologies, process management, policy development and implementation in a range of settings, such as in largely natural areas or regions characterised by, for example, agriculture or urban development.

A large number of programmes that can be classed as promoting green infrastructure are under way across Europe, extending from local to international initiatives. Most are government driven, although there are also a substantial number of programmes that have been initiated by NGOs and research institutes. All programmes are based on partnerships, cross-sectoral cooperation and multi-stakeholder processes.

In most of the GreenInfraNet partner regions (Fingal, Ghajnsielem, Flevoland, Hungary, Barcelona, Stara Zagora, Nicosia District), green infrastructure has originated from the need to implement EU nature conservation directives and to identify mechanisms for integrating nature conservation with other land uses. In Valencia, the green infrastructure concept emerged through the implementation of the European Landscape Convention.

Some partners have developed green infrastructure approaches, methodologies, policies and implementation programmes. Others have strengthened expertise in biodiversity conservation in relation to certain land uses, such as natural areas (including Natura 2000 sites), agriculture, and urban and suburban regions.

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Other project partners

The Autonomous Community of Valencia is developing the Valencian Green Infrastructure Territorial Action Plan within the framework of the Community’s Land Planning and Landscape Protection Act of 2009. Work has begun on identifying the areas and elements that will make up the region’s green infrastructure, developing the mechanisms to incorporate other green spaces and formulating the criteria for ensuring the integrated management of green infrastructure. In Hungary, many of the basic elements that will constitute green infrastructure have been identified in existing policies, legislation, programmes and funding mechanisms.

Project partners Stara Zagora, Nicosia, and Ghajnsielem will develop green infrastructure on the basis of existing policies and legislation and using the experience developed in other regions.

© The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe