Improving the quality of our urban and rural environments is vital if we are to deliver on our ambition to make Scotland a greener, wealthier and fairer, smarter, healthier and stronger, country. Green infrastructure is a way to support all of these strands.
The term 'green infrastructure' is relatively new and originated in the US, but the basic principles it embodies are familiar to us in Scotland. Green infrastructure differs from conventional approaches to open space planning because it offers greater functionality. It can offer an environmentally friendly approach to land development, growth management and built infrastructure planning. Well designed green infrastructure and creatively designed greenspaces offer lots of benefits and can support multiple agendas by helping to develop communities and places that are sustainable, attracting residents and business, support healthy lifestyles and encourage the kinds of behaviour that contribute towards the success of places in social, economic and environmental terms.
Moreover, green infrastructure can help tackle climate change - one of the main challenges of our time. It can advance developments which help to reduce Scotland's carbon footprint and provide solutions for climate change adaptation.
Green infrastructure planning works at national, regional and local levels and is an integral component of building well designed and sustainable communities. Indeed green infrastructure plays a key role when masterplanning both greenfield and regeneration sites, in a sustainable way.
Throughout the Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative we have seen innovative approaches to the inclusion of green infrastructure as a placemaking tool. But we want to see green infrastructure providing solid foundations to deliver sustainable communities right across Scotland.
This document provides an overview green infrastructure as well as setting out some key design issues and techniques which can help to incorporate GI into place-making at all scales.
Stewart Stevenson MSP Minister for Environment and Climate Change
Minister for Local Government and Planning