Ireland: Green Infrastructure and Planning

Launching its research report, ‘Creating Green Infrastructure for Ireland’, Comhar SDC has said development of green infrastructure should be a core part of Ireland’s planning policy, including local development plans to the national spatial strategy.  This would require mapping of natural ecosystems to provide evidence of the value of biodiversity and ecosystems to the economy and society.  

The report contains a range of recommendations to government on how green infrastructure can be developed in Ireland.  These include the development of national guidance and objectives; the inclusion of green infrastructure in policy and legislation; green infrastructure maps, and measures to improve data availability and harmonisation. 

The report shows how this mapping can be carried out and used to inform the development of green infrastructure.  It contains three case studies that illustrate green infrastructure planning in different areas, namely urban, peri-urban and rural areas (North East Dublin City; Broadmeadow, Fingal, and Offaly-Westmeath).  In addition, a national framework map was developed for the country, which highlights – among other elements – the existing biodiversity and ecological networks; water quality and flood attenuation infrastructure, and recreational / quality-of-life infrastructure.  From these preliminary maps alone, the report highlights where the most valuable green infrastructures exist, and where there is potential to further develop and connect green infrastructure to maximise the potential benefits.   

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