Green infrastructure

Green Infrastructure Task Force report

Date published: 
09 December 2015

A Green Infrastructure Task Force was established following the publication of the London Infrastructure Plan 2050, which sets out the infrastructure needs for London over the coming decades. The plan acknowledged that green infrastructure must be considered as an integral part of the city’s vital systems; as essential as the city’s transport, energy, water, waste and digital infrastructure.

Planned, designed and managed as an integrated green infrastructure, London’s existing green spaces and features such as green roofs, street trees and rain gardens, can provide benefits including: healthy living, more space for walking and cycling, flood mitigation, improved air and water quality, enhanced biodiversity and a cooler urban environment. 

Natural Capital: Investing in a Green Infrastructure for a Future City identifies why this approach is increasingly necessary, and the changes to policy, governance, valuation and funding that are needed to ensure long-term investment in London’s green infrastructure. Recommendations include the need to appoint a Green Infrastructure Commissioner; further refinement of the All London Green Grid; new approaches to revealing the economic value of green infrastructure; and working with others, such as the National Park City initiative, for example, to find better ways of engaging the public.

The recommendations in the report are reinforced by technical evidence provided in Valuing London’s Urban Forest and the Beam Parklands natural capital account.

Task Force members said

“London boroughs are currently responsible for managing much of London’s green infrastructure and making the land-use planning decisions that affect its future. This report is timely; it provides a compelling case for the value and importance of green infrastructure and suggests new ways to make decisions about how it is managed and funded.”

Cllr Julian Bell, Chair of London Council’s Transport & Environment Committee

 

“This report is groundbreaking because it recognises that London’s green infrastructure is just as important as other essential infrastructure - it helps to reduce flood risk, water pollution, air pollution and urban heat. As London continues to grow, making the most of its green infrastructure will be essential to ensure it is a healthy environment for people to live and work in.”

Simon Moody, London Manager for the Environment Agency

 

“We know that some of London’s biggest health challenges – obesity, poor air quality and mental health – can be ameliorated by a well-planned and managed green infrastructure. Its ability to soften the most unforgiving parts of the urban environment can have a profound effect on mental wellbeing and accessibility and connectivity matter if we want to encourage more physical activity. The Task Force report encourages more joined up working between professionals in public health, transport, urban design and green space to ensure that green infrastructure deliver its potential to provide better health for Londoners.”

Yvonne Doyle, London Regional Director of Public Health England