The Multifunctionality of Green Infrastructure new series of In-depth Reports from Science for Environment Policy, which take a comprehensive look at the latest science for key policy topics.

Green Infrastructure (GI) stands to improve quality of life in many ways, through its environmental, social and economic credentials, based on the multiple use of natural assets which in turn delivers multiple benefits (often described as multifunctionality). Potentially a very valuable policy tool, GI’s multifunctionality could contribute to the achievement of a number of policy aims and fulfil the needs of a variety of stakeholder groups.

This report describes the different functions that GI seeks to deliver and explores the scientific evidence behind its ability to perform these functions, using case studies where available. The functions are described in terms of four broad roles that GI performs:

  • Protecting ecosystem state and biodiversity;
  • Improving ecosystem functioning and promoting ecosystem services;
  • Promoting societal well-being and health;
  • Supporting the development of a green economy, and sustainable land and water management.

The roles of GI are highly interdependent and consequently evaluating the many aspects and functions of GI is a complex process. As such, the evaluation of GI may require a combination of qualitative or descriptive assessments with quantitative measures, using input from both ecological and social sciences. For example, the report suggests that quantitative measures of changes in ecosystem services could be combined with descriptive measures of existing political infrastructure to support policy measures and stakeholder participation.

There is more information about this work available online.

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