Green Infrastructure Definitions

Because of its multifunctional character Green Infrastructure (GI) has been defined in numerous ways. The variety of descriptions is documented here, although the selection of definitions below is just a small fraction of existing GI definitions.

The MaGICLandscapes partner consortium is oriented towards the green infrastructure definition adopted by the European Commission: 

"Green Infrastructure can be broadly defined as a strategically planned network of high quality natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features, which is designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services and protect biodiversity in both rural and urban settings. More specifically GI, being a spatial structure providing benefits from nature to people, aims to enhance nature’s ability to deliver multiple valuable ecosystem goods and services, such as clean air or water."
European Union (2013): Building a Green Infrastructure for Europe.

Below you'll find other definitions that are currently being used:

Green Infrastructure…

" an interconnected network of natural areas and other open spaces that conserves natural ecosystem values and functions, sustains clean air and water, and provides a wide array of benefits to people and wildlife."
Benedict, M. and McMahon. E. (2006): Green infrastructure. Linking Landscapes and Communities.

" a strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features designed and man aged to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services. It incorporates green spaces (or blue if aquatic ecosystems are concerned) and other physical features in terrestrial (including coastal) and marine areas. On land, GI is present in rural and urban settings."
German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) (2017): Federal Green Infrastructure Concept.

" the network of natural places and systems in, around and beyond urban areas. It includes trees, parks, gardens, allotments, cemeteries, woodlands, green corridors, rivers and wetlands."
British Design Council (former Commission for Architecture and Built Environment), (2011).

" an approach to wet weather management that uses soils and vegetation to utilise, enhance and/or mimic the natural hydrological cycle processes of infiltration, evapotranspiration and reuse."
US Environmental Protection Agency (2008): Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure: Action Strategy.

" the actions to build connectivity nature protection networks as well as the actions to incorporate multifunctional green spaces in urban environment."
European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC) (2009): Green Infrastructure and Ecological Connectivity.

" a concept that is principally structured by a hybrid hydrological/drainage network, complementing and linking relic green areas with built infrastructure that provides ecological functions. It is the principles of landscape ecology applied to urban environments."
Ahern, J. (2007): Green infrastructure for cities: The spatial dimension

"...includes established green spaces and new sites and should thread through and surround the built environment and connect the urban area to its wider rural hinterland. Consequently it needs to be delivered at all spatial scales from sub-regional to local neighbourhood levels, accommodating both accessible natural green spaces within local communities and often much larger sites in the urban fringe and wider countryside."
Natural England (2009): Green Infrastructure Guidance

And last but not least:

“Green infrastructure as a term does not have a single widely recognised definition. It has been adopted by the various design-, conservation- and planning-related disciplines and been used to apply to slightly different concepts. However, it is possible to identify underlying features, common to all the disciplines that use the term. These include connectivity, multifunctionality and smart conservation. The term is used for a network of green features that are interconnected and therefore bring added benefits and are more resilient. Another common feature is the aim to either protect or develop such networks.”
European Environmental Agency (EEA)(2011): Green Infrastructure and territorial cohesion.

Benefits of Green Infrastructure

Header photo: František Fabičovic