Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure is “an interconnected network of green space that conserves natural ecosystem values and functions and provides associated benefits to human populations”1. It can be comprised of natural or semi-natural areas of vegetation, water bodies and other non built-up land surface covers and can exist as managed or unmanaged, public or private and small or large zones 2,3. Together they provide multiple and often inter-connected ‘ecosystem services’: including the supply of food and fuel (‘provisioning’); flood, temperature and erosion control (‘regulating’); opportunities for recreation and relaxation (‘social/cultural’) and areas for biodiversity (‘supporting’)4.  Their importance is recognised by national government with an initial and follow-on national ecosystem services assessment and a programme of related activities5,6.


  1. Benedict, MA, McMahon, ET (2001) page 5 Green Infrastructure: Smart Conservation for the 21st Century. The Conservation Fund. Sprawlwatch Clearinghouse Mono-graph Series.
  2. Jones, S. and Somper, C. (2014) The role of green infrastructure in climate change adaptation in London The Geographical Journal, Vol. 180, No. 2, pp. 191–196
  3. Tzoulas, K. Korpela, K., Venn, S., Yli-Pelkonen, V., Kazmierczak, A., Niemela, J. and James, P. (2007) Promoting ecosystem and human health in urban areas using Green Infrastructure: A literature review Landscape and Urban Planning 81 167–178
  4. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well-being: A Framework for Assessment. Island Press
  5. UKNEA (2011) UK National Ecosystem Assessment: Chapter 10 ‘Urban’


Greenhouse gases

A gas within the atmosphere which absorbs and emits energy radiated by the Earth. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important greenhouse gas being emitted by humans. The greenhouse effect is natural and without it the Earth would be considerably colder. The primary greenhouse gases are: water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and ozone (O3).


UKCIP website, 2014

Groundwater flooding

Flooding from the ground caused by high groundwater levels in aquifers. Note: Groundwater flooding is not considered.