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Expert Workshop on "Green Infrastructure Projects and Policies"


Expert Workshop on "Green Infrastructure Projects and Policies"

Brussels, Belgium

How can green infrastructure and its contribution to the provision of a wide range of ecosystem services be strengthened at different spatial scales? An expert workshop on "Green infrastructure policies and projects" aimed to answer this question. Participants critically discussed the design, implementation and cost of green infrastructure projects as well as the implementation and efficiency of national and regional green infrastructure initiatives. The workshop took place in Brussels on 7 September 2011 and was organised by Ecologic Institute with support from GHK and Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP). The presentations are available for download.


The EU is currently developing a Strategy on Green Infrastructure (GI) which will contribute to the EU 2020 Biodiversity Policy and help to address the ongoing fragmentation and deterioration of European ecosystems. Green infrastructure, which in a nutshell can be defined as a network of green areas and features in rural and urban landscapes, can enhance the resilience of species and ecosystems in adapting to climate change while securing multiple benefits for biodiversity and humans and ensuring the provision of ecosystem services and goods.

Several projects have accordingly been launched by the European Commission to support the development of the upcoming GI strategy. Design, implementation and cost elements of green infrastructure projects for example, aims to establish a comprehensive overview of current green infrastructure projects being implemented throughout Europe. Another related project concentrates on the effectiveness and efficiency of national and regional GI initiatives in terms of biodiversity and broader ecosystem benefits and the impact of relevant EU policies. These studies, which are being carried out by the hosts of the workshop, offer complementary perspectives on GI measures and assist in the development of a clear and applicable concept of GI for future policy-making.

World Café Discussion:

The aim of the workshop was to discuss lessons learned from the two aforementioned projects as well as recommendations for future policy making. A world café discussion facilitated the sharing of experiences with and knowledge about GI from practitioners, scientists and NGOs as well as EU, national and regional administrative body representatives. Six main themes were explored in their respective working groups, namely:

  1. Design and implementation of green infrastructure initiatives in Europe today
  2. Integrating green infrastructure in spatial planning, policy and strategy development at regional/national levels
  3. Costs and benefits of green infrastructure
  4. Financing green infrastructure projects and initiatives
  5. Policy tools, instruments and the EU framework
  6. Identifying indicators and measuring the efficiency of green infrastructure

The results of these discussions will contribute to the development of the upcoming EU Strategy on Green Infrastructure and the EU 2020 Biodiversity Policy, which aim to strengthen GI in regional, national and EU policies and encourage GI initiatives.

Presentations and Workshop Documents:

Key note presentations from GI practitioners, members of the European Commission (DG Environment) and project partners provided input for the world café discussions. Please find the files below for download as well as the workshop’s background paper and agenda.

Further Links:

GHK (GHK), United Kingdom
Brussels, Belgium
green infrastructure, efficiency, costs and benefits, ecosystem services, biodiversity policy, spatial planning, policy and strategy development