Urban Green Infrastructure and Human Wellbeing

Urban green infrastructure is a network of green spaces, water and other natural features within urban areas. A green infrastructure approach uses natural processes to deliver multiple functions, such as cooling high urban temperatures. Green infrastructure can often provide the same functions as conventional infrastructure, such as water management and flood risk alleviation, with other benefits for health and biodiversity. However, these benefits are not always well quantified. Green space has decreased in many UK cities in recent decades, affecting the 80% of the population that lives in urban areas. Identified constraints on green infrastructure provision include a lack of understanding of natural systems and their associated benefits, a lack of strategic green infrastructure plans and a lack of co-ordination within local authorities.

This roundtable briefing event was for parliamentarians to discuss the evidence for the effectiveness of urban green infrastructure in supporting different aspects of human wellbeing, and challenges to its implementation and maintenance with representatives from academia, planning, policy and local authorities. A summary of the discussion of the event is available here (PDF PDF 287 KB), and on the blog of the website of the sponsor for the event, the Natural Capital Initiative.