Green infrastructure strategy developed for Liverpool City, England



Liverpool City Council calculates green infrastructure worth £8 billion

The City of Liverpool strategy was drawn up to make the most of sustainable management of the city's green spaces, trees and waterways. The City found that green infrastructure was an £8bn asset.

Paul Scragg, manager of parks and green spaces, explained that everything – from parks to a single street tree – had come under scrutiny. Green infrastructure planning, he said, went beyond traditional green space strategies by focusing on the benefits that can be gained from the local natural resources.

“This is quite unique,” he said. “Seeing it all set out taught us things about the city and its character that we didn't know.”

He added that a large amount of the green infrastructure was smaller areas or those in private ownership, but still had a large impact on the city in terms of climate change and flood alleviation.

“We have always focused on the land (the council) managed but there is a lot more that influences temperature ranges in the city. This strategy has enabled us to look at the city from a holistic green infrastructure way, as opposed to purely focusing on the land we control.”

He said it was too early to say how the information would inform policy because there was so much data, but he was impressed at how much had been collected. “It is information that we never had before and is a vast database to help as we go forward.”

“This will help make future strategies more locally focused on neighbourhoods across Merseyside as well as city-wide.”

Parks consultant Alan Barber said: “This is a brilliant integration of planning and management that impacts on a whole city. Green infrastructure puts multifunctionality in the spotlight and prioritises the integration of green spaces with urban water. Often the opportunities to get more value from such an intervention are not taken.”


Liverpool City Green Infrastructure Strategy

Green infrastructure has been defined in North West England as the region's life support system – the network of natural environmental components and green and blue spaces that lie within and between our cities, towns and villages and provide multiple social, economic and environmental benefits. 

The Mersey Forest has been commissioned by Liverpool City Council Planning Business Unit and Liverpool Primary Care Trust to produce a Green Infrastructure Strategy for the City of Liverpool.

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Reproduced from an article by Jez Abbott in Horticulture Week


Posted December 2010