iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Green Infrastructure as a tool to support spatial planning in European urban regions

R Lafortezza (1)   , C Davies (2), G Sanesi (1), CC Konijnendijk (3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 102-108 (2013)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0723-006
Published: Mar 05, 2013 - Copyright © 2013 SISEF

Review Papers

The last decades have seen a major shift in the planning and development of ecosystem and landscape management in Europe. First of all, in line with international developments, the life-support services of ecosystems have come to the fore through the application of the concept of “ecosystem services”. Secondly, drawing on the principles of landscape ecology linkages between ecosystems are being stressed through the concept of “ecological networks”. Thirdly, there is increasing recognition of the beneficial relationship between access to green space and improved public “health and well-being”. These services and relationships are being linked together in both academic literature and policy practice in what is termed the Green Infrastructure (GI) approach. It is argued that GI networks are discernible at different scales, and across urban, peri-urban and rural landscapes. Furthermore, GI is considered as supportive of ecological processes whilst simultaneously contributing to better human health and well-being. Moreover, especially in urban regions, GI is being placed at the same level as other essential urban infrastructure. Recognising these developments the authors have devised an updated conceptual framework for the development, management, and analysis of GI networks by focusing on contemporary drivers nested together at the territorial level and with a prominent role for temporal considerations. The latter has hitherto been only weakly presented in the GI discourse. Development of the conceptual model has been informed by reference to examples drawn from across Europe. Finally, directions are provided for future research, and for developing and delivering GI in the emerging context of ecosystem services and human well-being.


Green Infrastructure (GI), Ecosystem Services, Territorial Cohesion, Urban Forestry, Human Well-being, European Urban Regions, Urban interface

Authors’ address

R Lafortezza
G Sanesi
Dipartimento di Scienze Agro-Ambientali e Territoriali, Università di Bari, v. Amendola 165/A, I-70126 Bari (Italy)
C Davies
Department of Architecture, Planning & Landscape, Claremont Tower, Newcastle University, NE1 7RU Newcastle upon Tyne (UK)
CC Konijnendijk
Danish Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

Corresponding author


Lafortezza R, Davies C, Sanesi G, Konijnendijk CC (2013). Green Infrastructure as a tool to support spatial planning in European urban regions. iForest 6: 102-108. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0723-006

Academic Editor

Renzo Motta

Paper history

Received: Aug 02, 2012
Accepted: Dec 04, 2012

First online: Mar 05, 2013
Publication Date: Jun 01, 2013
Publication Time: 3.03 months

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