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Development of a benchmark for green infrastructure

Jerome, Gemma; Sinnett, Danielle; Mortlock, Roger; Calvert, Thomas; Burgess, Sarah; Smith, Nicholas


Gemma Jerome

Roger Mortlock

Thomas Calvert
Research Fellow in Transport and Urban Planning

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Nicholas Smith
AHOD in Geography & Planning Cluster Leader


This paper presents the development of a benchmark for green infrastructure (GI). Green infrastructure is recognised globally as an essential component of liveable and sustainable places. It is valued for its multi-functionality and the connectedness of the individual features to each other, the surrounding countryside and urban populations. It brings together many land uses (e.g. parks, gardens, cemeteries, allotments, nature reserves, surface water), urban design (e.g. street trees, landscaping) and functional features (e.g. sustainable urban drainage systems, green roofs) operating at differing spatial scales.
It is widely acknowledged that GI is the primary mechanism for delivering ecosystem services in towns and cities and there is a substantial body of research demonstrating the multiple benefits of GI to urban populations. Despite this evidence base there is still considerable uncertainty as to how GI can best be delivered and maintained in practice.
This benchmark for GI has been developed through a combination of literature review and engagement with key stakeholders representing planning, landscape architect, developer, ecologist and environmental science communities across a range of sectors. It provides a points-based benchmark that is flexible enough to be used across different spatial scales and types of GI depending on the specific needs of the location. It allows an assessment of the process of GI creation, from policy, through to planning, design, delivery and long-term management, ensuring that current good practice has been adopted at all stages. The benchmark uses criteria that consider different aspects of GI in terms of form and function including nature conservation, water management, health and well-being, environmental and design quality. Where criteria or guidance exist it sign-posts to these or, where they do not, it draws criteria from the evidence base. This paper will present the framework for the benchmark and findings from a feasibility study examining its practical application.


Jerome, G., Sinnett, D., Mortlock, R., Calvert, T., Burgess, S., & Smith, N. (2016, August). Development of a benchmark for green infrastructure. Paper presented at 5th International EcoSummit: Engineering Sustainability Engineering Change

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name 5th International EcoSummit: Engineering Sustainability Engineering Change
Start Date Aug 29, 2016
End Date Sep 1, 2016
Acceptance Date Mar 31, 2016
Publication Date Jan 1, 2016
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords green infrastructure, planning, environment
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : 5th International EcoSummit: Engineering Sustainability Engineering Change