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The Implementation of Green Infrastructure: Relating a General Concept to Context and Site

Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
Academic Editor: Davide Geneletti
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 610;
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Based Solutions for Urban Challenges)
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In the quest for more sustainable urban landscape development, the concept of “green infrastructure” (GI) has become central in policy documents and as a multifunctional general planning tool. GI is not, however, a simple and unambiguous solution. While in policy documents there are claims for more and connected GI, actual urban development takes another direction. The densifying imperative is hard to combine with an increased and more connected GI. This paper argues for a critical and diversified approach to the concept of GI, in order to facilitate its implementation in urban planning and management. Any kind of GI will not deliver all ecosystems services in any place, not without land use conflicts, investments and long term operating costs. This calls for a GI concept linked to actors and mediating conflicting values. Linguistic as well as spatial definitions of the two relevant dichotomies of “green-grey” and “public-private” are crucial in GI location, design, construction and management, it is argued. Overarching representations of GI will be needed, but not only pictured as a separate system, but also displayed with necessary integration to the whole urban landscape. Development over time will need an intersectorial implementation and management program. Some of the GI intentions may be implemented in planning processes, some through re-organization and redesign of public space, and some by agreements with landowners. To reach out to implementation in ordinary urban development, GI needs to be described in a way that establishes points of connection to a variety of relevant actors and organizations taking part in implementation of GI. View Full-Text
Keywords: green infrastructure; sustainable urban development; urban planning; landscape representations green infrastructure; sustainable urban development; urban planning; landscape representations

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Lindholm, G. The Implementation of Green Infrastructure: Relating a General Concept to Context and Site. Sustainability 2017, 9, 610.

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