DG Environment adopts new strategy on green infrastructure
The European Commission, DG Environment, has put forward new plans for encouraging the use of green infrastructure – the network of natural land and water that lies within and between cities, towns and villages. In a Communication entitled ‘Green Infrastructure (GI) – Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital’, the Commission sets out plans for a new enabling framework to help create good quality, healthy and sustainable places in which people and wildlife can live. Read more…
GI is an approach to spatial planning of land use that plays a critical role in ensuring human environments are resilient to environmental, social and economic challenges. For example, GI would allow a natural wetland to absorb excess water from heavy rain instead of needing to build flood protection. It would enable the development of transport networks that encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport, which would help to reduce carbon emissions.
The Communication draws on the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe and the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. Both identify investing in GI as an important step towards protecting Europe’s natural capital.
The new strategy focuses on promoting GI in main policy areas such as agriculture, forestry, water, climate change mitigation and adaptation, transport and energy. It calls for improved research and data to strengthen the knowledge base and stimulate innovation, and improved support and access to finance for GI projects by the end of 2015. The Commission will review progress on developing GI and will publish a report by the end of 2017 on the lessons learned together with recommendations for future action.
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