GRETA – Green infrastructure: enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem services for territorial development

The collaborative ESPON project GRETA aims to develop a comprehensive knowledge base for enhancing green infrastructures to benefit territorial development in different European regions and cities.

Green infrastructure, and the existence of green areas and their spatial connectivity, is increasingly considered an asset for regional and urban development. The multifunctional qualities and attractiveness of green areas is an important growth factor, as it influences enterprises and people in determining e.g. issues of relocation.

Likewise, environmental services have attracted increased political interest throughout the course of the past two to three decades. However, the place-based perspective in terms of understanding, monitoring, planning and policy-making needs to be further investigated.

Nordregio’s role

Nordregio is responsible for Task 3 of the GRETA project, which is focusing on investigating relevant green infrastructure policy approaches and actions that facilitate green infrastructure implementation.

This work will provide knowledge on relevant green infrastructure policies that facilitate green infrastructure implementation, and it will do so in a manner that illustrates decision making from a multi-level governance and cross-sectoral perspective. A common theme will be an emphasis on current and future innovation in terms of tools and processes that local and regional authorities can use or are using to support green infrastructure development.

In short, we will:

• provide structured knowledge about existing GI-related policy/planning initiatives, including their “intervention logics” or “theories of change”, across the ESPON space;

• identify the intrinsic policy and planning arrangements of the many manifestations of GI within policy and planning across a range of European territorial contexts, including how particular territorial functions are acknowledged;

• provide a deeper understanding of the distribution of GI policy and implementation among difference key governance actors: namely; national, regional and local government, different sectoral policies that structure decision-making, the private sector, etc.;

• seek to identify key “bottlenecks” which undermine the effectiveness of GI interventions;

• develop advice for policy makers and practitioners.

Find more about the GRETA project on the ESPON website.