Green Infrastructure is many things to many people, but in general terms, it is the green features that exist in a landscape. This could be anything from existing parks and greenspaces through to designed environmental features such as green roofs and street trees.
Green infrastructure brings environmental benefits, providing biodiversity refuges and connectivity across a landscape, in particular in urban environments, where it can help to mitigate climate change, address pollution issues, manage stormwater and provide recreational spaces. It is also widely recognised as important for physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Within the built environment, green infrastructure is becoming more widely recognised as a sustainable and environmental friendly way to develop and features such as green roofs, raingardens, green walls and green bridges are increasingly being included into policy and best practice documents. Scotland is at the forefront of this rise, already having planning policy which promotes and encourages green networks, water sensitive design and green infrastructure technologies.
The Scottish Green Infrastructure Forum is a cross sector association committed to serving the interests of Green Infrastructure development in Scotland. The Forum recognises that Scotland has particular environmental drivers with regard to the development of Green Infrastructure systems, and is currently working on several projects designed to promote Scotland as a leader in Green Infrastructure.
One of these projects is the 10,000 Raingardens for Scotland; initially an awareness raising and media campaign on raingardens, with the aim of creating some innovative and attractive exemplar raingardens across Scotland which will be used to engage a range of potential stakeholders.
We also work closely with academia, through our main Forum, and also through the sub-group Scottish Universities Green Infrastructure Research (SUGIR) group, with the aim of coordinating and supporting research projects into various elements of Green Infrastructure. This includes the organisation of events, such as the Green Infrastructure: a growing need conference in 2015 and the planned 2019 conference on Innovations in Blue-Grey-Green Infrastructure in collaboration with SRUC, City of Glasgow Council and University of Glasgow.
For more information on SGIF, see our website: www.sgif.org.uk or follow us on twitter: @ScottishGIF