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The integration of high quality green infrastructure into the urban environment can provide a number of key benefits. These include:

  • Climate change adaptation/mitigation
  • Health, well-being and social cohesion
  • Economic growth and investment
  • Wildlife and habitats
  • Stronger communities.

These benefits can be achieved most successfully when planning and management take place to ensure green space is supplied in the right place at the right time.

A summary report that covers the benefits of green infrastructure has been written by Forest Research (2010), alongside a main report to Defra providing technical information:

Benefits of green infrastructure – summary report (PDF-2362K)

Benefits of green infrastructure – main report (PDF-1211K)

Greenspace is multifunctional – it provides social, economic and environmental benefits. It supports many of the components of ‘ecosystem services’ as defined by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Ecosystem services include:

  • Supporting services – habitat provision, nutrient cycling, soil formation, primary production
  • Provisioning services – fresh water, wood
  • Regulating services – climate, flood, disease
  • Cultural services – aesthetic, educational, recreational.

These are intrinsic to biodiversity, and provide for people’s well-being – security, basic materials for good life, health, and good social relations. As most of our communities exist within the urban environment, the provision of greenspace is essential for the well-being of society.

Environmental benefits

Social and economic benefits

Ecological benefits



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