Green infrastructure development strategies and process management
Green infrastructure is being implemented in many regions, and in many different ways. There is little commonality across regions, although implementation on the ground is based on a variety of mechanisms from a range of policy areas such as nature conservation, agriculture and spatial planning. Where no formal strategy exists, implementation can be compromised by a lack of integration between initiatives that originate in different policy areas. Progress in relation to implementation can be slow due to a lack of buy-in from key stakeholders such as landowners. In addition, the current difficult economic circumstances may mean that green infrastructure is accorded a lower political priority.
In some regions, green infrastructure is being implemented through nature conservation legislation utilising frameworks created for this purpose, such as in Flevoland, where green infrastructure is based on the implementation of the National Ecological Network. This is also the case in Hungary and Ghajnsielem.
Spatial planning provides the framework through which green infrastructure is being shaped in Barcelona, Fingal and Stara Zagora; or through which it is implemented, as in Ghajnsielem and Valencia .
In Hungary, agricultural policy is an important area through which green infrastructure initiatives are being implemented.
In Valencia, green infrastructure is primarily based on legislation implementing the European Landscape Convention.
Funding for implementing green infrastructure is an ongoing challenge in all regions. The experience of the GreenInfraNet partners is that funding is largely, if not entirely, derived from resources related to other policy areas such as nature conservation, spatial planning or agriculture.
A key outcome of the project is the importance of explaining to stakeholders across many different policy areas the wider social (e.g. public health) and economic (e.g. tourism) benefits of green infrastructure, and in this way generating support for the planning and implementation of green infrastructure initiatives. Greater participation by a range of stakeholders in formulating green infrastructure plans may be necessary to achieve this.