Placements 2017/2018 - Ian Mell

Valuing green infrastructure for health in London’s local government and business communities 

Home: School of Environment, Education & Development, University of Manchester

Host: Greater London Authority

Project Summary

The Valuing Nature funded Valuing green infrastructure for health in London’s local government and business communities project engaged stakeholders from across London’s public, private and environmental/third sector in a discussion of how green infrastructure is, could and should be funded. It investigated the range of approaches taken to financing landscape management including Local Planning Authority (LPAs) mechanisms, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the role of Business Improvement District (BIDs) and Social Housing providers, as well as the growing innovation from the environment in terms of how, why and what green infrastructure they can deliver. To understand their roles a series of interviews were conducted and analysed to assess how different organisations were debating their issues within their internal and public development and/or management of London’s landscape.

The placement’s most insightful findings focussed on the role that developers, specifically high-end property organisations, BIDs, and Social Housing providers have in shaping the ways in which green infrastructure is being delivered. Each of the stakeholders are working across London to integrate green infrastructure in various forms and scales into the built environment to improve the value of their real estate, to increase economic revenue or to enhance the liveability of their land holdings. Despite having different agendas each has identified investment in green infrastructure as an effective way of improving aesthetic and functional quality of their investments, and in many cases increased its value.

However, not all stakeholders engaged effectively, as LPAs were unable to provide commentary of how local government could facilitate investment in green infrastructure. Other stakeholders though reinforced their key role in delivering green infrastructure within London and saw them as crucial facilitators of strategic investment and management of the landscape across the city. Moreover, the ability of LPAs and other large-scale investors to generate buy-in from property companies, infrastructure providers and utility companies was deemed to be central to the development of a more sustainable London.

Investment in green infrastructure was therefore linked to the economic prosperity of London and the creation of a more liveable and functional city that provides social, economic and ecological benefits for all. This conclusion has been embedded within the developing outputs of the placement and will be used to engage additional stakeholders in discussions of the added-value that green infrastructure can deliver to public, private and third/environmental sector organisations working within London.

Initial Placement Presentation

Final Presentation (click to view):