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Do built environment assessment systems include high quality green infrastructure?

Sinnett, Danielle; Calvert, Tom; Smith, Nick


Thomas Calvert
Research Fellow in Transport and Urban Planning

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Nicholas Smith
AHOD in Geography & Planning Cluster Leader


Fabiano Lemes de Oliviera

Ian Mell


Green infrastructure is understood to be a critical feature of sustainable cities, providing numerous benefits to people and wildlife. However, there are challenges associated with its planning, design and delivery related to skills and knowledge in the built environment sector and the importance placed on green infrastructure in the development process. The sector often turns to assessment systems to ensure that new developments are sustainable, with the standards and criteria they include being used to inform those responsible for delivering commercial and residential developments. This chapter examines thirteen systems commonly used internationally against the key characteristics of green infrastructure including its form as a multifunctional network, relationship with the strategic objectives for the area and functions for improving health and well-being, climate change resilience and nature conservation. The findings suggest that the majority of systems do not provide a robust assessment of green infrastructure against these characteristics. Although they do recognise many of the functions that green infrastructure can provide, they miss opportunities for the additive benefits that can be provided through a multifunctional network. Many of the systems will accredit developments to some degree with very little or no consideration of green infrastructure, giving the impression that it is not an essential component of new development. Built environment assessment systems play an important role in setting the standard for the sector and, as such, could contribute to improving the quality of green infrastructure in the future.


Sinnett, D., Calvert, T., & Smith, N. (2019). Do built environment assessment systems include high quality green infrastructure?. In F. Lemes de Oliviera, & I. Mell (Eds.), Planning Cities with Nature: Theories, Strategies and Methods (169-186). Springer.

Online Publication Date Feb 3, 2019
Publication Date Feb 3, 2019
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 169-186
Series Title Cities and Nature
Book Title Planning Cities with Nature: Theories, Strategies and Methods
Chapter Number 12
ISBN 9783030018658
Keywords green infrastructure, sustainable construction, benchmarks
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