A network of healthy ecosystems often provides cost-effective alternatives to traditional 'grey' infrastructure and offers many other benefits for both EU citizens and biodiversity. The EU promotes the use of nature-based green infrastructure solutions.
Green infrastructure is a strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services such as water purification, air quality, space for recreation and climate mitigation and adaptation. This network of green (land) and blue (water) spaces can improve environmental conditions and therefore citizens' health and quality of life. It also supports a green economy, creates job opportunities and enhances biodiversity. The Natura 2000 network constitutes the backbone of the EU green infrastructure.
Green infrastructure planning is a successfully tested tool to provide environmental, economic and social benefits through natural solutions and help reduce dependence on 'grey' infrastructure that is often more expensive to build and maintain.
The European Commission has developed a Green Infrastructure Strategy. This strategy aims to ensure that the protection, restoration, creation and enhancement of green infrastructure become an integral part of spatial planning and territorial development whenever it offers a better alternative, or is complementary, to standard grey choices.
The EU promotes green infrastructure to enhance Europe's natural capital
Discover how Natura 2000 and many EU policies can contribute to green infrastructure and benefit from its applications
Discover some of the many forms and benefits of green infrastructure.