Green infrastructure’s importance and scale of use are enormous, says United Kingdom research agency


Ancient forest in united kingdom

Benefits of Green Infrastructure

The government sponsored Forest Research organisation has completed a critical review of the evidence of the benefits of green infrastructure in the United Kingdom. The work was funded by the Departments for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and Communities & Local Government (DCLG), and supported by a steering group from 10 government agencies and departments.

Green infrastructure includes parks, allotments, gardens, golf courses, canals and other inland waters, cemeteries, road verges, trees, community woodlands and green space around housing.

Forest Research’s Carl Foster, the project manager, said, “Green infrastructure’s importance and scale of use are enormous, providing a wealth of facilities and benefits to urban communities. It has been reported that some 33 million people in England make 2.5 billion visits each year to urban green space.”

Synopsis of Project Outputs

A summary report has been produced which shows communities and local authorities how well-planned and managed green infrastructure can deliver multiple benefits to themselves and businesses. The report supports decision making on green infrastructure, and highlights cost-effective opportunities to achieve local and national policy objectives. It also shows the relationships and interdependency between the benefits, and ways to maximise those benefits.

Other project outputs include an in-depth, fully referenced technical report providing a critique of the current evidence, and a series of supporting evidence notes and case studies. These documents are available to download from the Benefits of Green Infrastructure Knowledge portal, a searchable, on-line evidence database containing links or access to more than 500 source documents. The project outputs enable users to drill down to the underlying sound scientific evidence, and gain access to case studies showing ways to achieve a given benefit.

Database Topics

Some of the green infrastructure topics covered in the databases are…Climate change adaptation and/or mitigation; Increasing inward investment; Increasing land and property values; Increasing life expectancy and reducing health inequality; Improving levels of physical activity and health; Improving psychological health and mental well-being; Social interaction, inclusion and cohesion; Improving air quality; Sustainable urban drainage; Street trees. Improving environmental quality/aesthetics; Land regeneration; Improving quality of place; Reducing flood risk; Improving water quality; Increasing habitat area; Increasing species movement; Increasing population of species.

To Learn More:

UK green infrastructure summary report - coverThe summary report and the main report are available to download from the Forest Research website News pages: Or click on Benefits of green infrastructure – summary report

Further information about the project and its outputs is available by contacting


Posted October 2010