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The Green Infrastructure Project in Context

Cyclists at Applecross Basin - Canal & North Gateway Project - Glasgow City Council and Scottish Canals

The Green Infrastructure Strategic Investment is a unique opportunity for SNH to create and improve green infrastructure on a major scale and to demonstrate how it can make a real difference to the lives of people in areas where it is most needed. It is though just one strand of SNH’s work in urban areas, which dates back to our predecessor organisation, the Countryside Commission for Scotland, project on ‘The Countryside in and around Towns’ in the 1980s and has grown in importance ever since. These days, it’s at the heart of our work, featuring prominently as a priority in SNH’s Corporate Plan and in policy initiatives such as the Scottish Biodiversity Route Map.

The Green Infrastructure project sits within our ‘Creating Better Places’ activity which aims to:
• help make improvements to the environmental and landscape quality of places where people live, particularly in more disadvantaged communities, and to maximise the impact of environmental factors that address health inequalities;
• seek to increase awareness of and engage people with Scotland’s nature and landscapes, leading to a stronger commitment to looking after them; and
• help communities to get actively involved in environmental issues and decisions which affect them, and continue to look to strengthen our engagement in community planning.

This aspect of our work is targeted on the Central Scotland Green Network area, areas high on the multiple social deprivation index, areas with excessive vacant/derelict land and cities with, or who are developing, a City Deal (Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh, Perth/Dundee, Ayrshire).

The scale of the challenge overall is huge, and beyond SNH’s staff and financial resources, but we can play a key role in influencing others through:
• Knowledge – providing and sharing evidence on the contribution of the natural heritage to creating better places (through research, sharing good practice and capacity building);
• Advice - influencing delivery of better places through input to the planning system and other strategic development initiatives. This includes advising on Development Plans and Supplementary Guidance, (including design frameworks, development briefs and masterplans), City Deals, CSGN and Green Infrastructure projects so that they maximise the opportunities from the natural heritage;
• Leverage funding – facilitating delivery through managing the ERDF Green Infrastructure Strategic Investment (GISI), contributing to the CSGN Development Fund, and supporting partners and partnerships through SNH grant;
• Facilitation – bringing stakeholders together to deliver better places through promoting the natural heritage’s contribution to wider social, economic and environmental agendas; and
• Participation in projects and partnership such as the NHS greenspace demonstration project and various landscape partnerships such as the Inner Forth and 7 Lochs.

Improving Scotland’s green infrastructure is a key part of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy Route Map, published by Scottish Government in June 2015. The route map sets out the big steps needed to implement the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy 2020 Challenge, including restoring ecosystems, conserving wildlife, and sustainably managing land, freshwater and the marine environment. The SBS 2020 Challenge is Scotland’s response to the Aichi Targets set by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity calling for a step change in efforts to halt the loss of biodiversity and restore essential services that a healthy natural environment provides.

Latest News

Green Infrastructure Community Engagement Fund Round 2 - open for applications

Round 2 of the Green Infrastructure Community Engagement Fund is now open for applications and will close on 3 April 2018.

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
Urban Design with Nature Sharing Good Practice Event - 21 February 2018 - Battleby Conference Centre, Perth

Organised by Scottish Natural Heritage in partnership with ERZ Studio, WSP, and Glasgow City Council this free event is for urban planners, designers, architects, landscape architects, developers, contractors, engineers; house builders and social...

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017
Associate Feature: Greening the grey - why Scotland needs green infrastructure

Holyrood Magazine has published an article written by our Chairman, Mike Cantlay, setting out the importance of Green Infrastructure and the positive impact it can have on communities.  You can view it ...

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017
The Adult Health and Social Care Crisis - Green Infrastructure as part of the solution

Rather than regarding green infrastructure as a burden on hard-pressed public finances, we should embrace it as an important part of an approach to sustainable healthcare, says Ben Williams.

Friday, November 24th, 2017