Current Planning Policy and Advice on Green Infrastructure
SPP states that decisions on the layout and design of new development should:
- Encourage the use of active travel networks and public transport;
- Encourage energy efficiency through the orientation and design of buildings, choice of materials and the use of low carbon generating technologies;
- Encourage the use of sustainable and recycled materials in construction, and support habitat connectivity; and
- Support sustainable water resource management and waste management.
National Planning Framework 2 identifies the Central Scotland Green Network as a national development, signalling it as a form of green infrastructure of strategic importance. The CSGN promotes environmental quality and good connectivity, a strategic network of woodlands and other habitats, more sustainable and healthy patterns of travel, transport and land use, and expanding opportunities for communities and businesses across the whole of central Scotland.
Designing Places promotes six qualities of successful places; Identity, safe and pleasant, ease of movement, a sense of welcome, adaptability and good use of resources. These principles can be applied specifically to the design of green infrastructure including open spaces and green networks. It also highlights that "Places that are distinctive and designed with a real understanding of the natural world are likely to be enjoyed, cared for and valued".
Designing Streets advocates street design that encourages place before traffic movement and promotes 'permeability' of urban form through the design of street patterns and the connectivity of streets with surrounding networks. It highlights that "Connected and permeable networks encourage walking and cycling, and make navigation through places easier".
PAN 65 Planning and Open Space advises: "Some of the best open spaces are part of networks. These can help define the landscape or townscape structure, provide links with the countryside and allow movement of people and wildlife". It goes on to suggest that "Local authorities should aim to maintain or form networks of green and civic spaces which maintain and enhance environmental qualities; provide a range of opportunities for recreation and leisure; link and create wildlife habitats; and encourage walking and cycling and reduce car use".
PAN 83 Masterplanning aims to promote the use of masterplanning to create better places. It explains how to achieve more effective masterplanning, how to achieve more consistency in the presentation of masterplans, and it encourages good practice through a range of exemplary case studies. The document covers the masterplanning process from beginning to end.
The Scottish Government's Architecture and Place Division within the Built Environment Directorate is developing a series of Practical Projects. These documents provide practical guidance and recommendations on the creation of better quality places.
The first document in the series looked at a residential streets project in Polnoon.
The second provided a summary of the Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative ( SSCI).
This third document in the series provides ideas on how to place green infrastructure at the core of masterplanning.
This document does not seek to reinvent nor reiterate the established masterplanning process. It complements existing advice in PAN 65 and PAN 83.