Responding to the National Planning Framework (NPF4) Call for Ideas, greenspace scotland calls for a Green-Blue Infrastructure first approach, and a National Green & Blue Infrastructure Network as a new National Development

Read our full response to the NPF4 Call for Ideas

The Call for Ideas was launched as Councils across Scotland were following the Scottish Government’s lead in declaring a Climate Emergency (and in some cases an Ecological Emergency) and starting to develop Climate Emergency Action Plans.

Writing our response in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis has thrown into even sharper relief the inequalities experienced by people and communities across Scotland in terms of health, housing, access to food, education, employment, transport, environmental quality, access to gardens and quality public green and open space.

We believe NPF4 provides an opportunity for a radical rethink about the Scotland that we want to live in and the pivotal role of planning in shaping sustainable, resilient and thriving places.

This is not only an opportunity to take the bold actions which will genuinely deliver on the ambitions already expressed in Scottish Policy, but also to take a radical and innovative approach to support a green recovery from the current crisis which tackles both inequalities and the climate emergency.

NPF4 should set out a ‘Green-Blue Infrastructure first’ approach, and identify a National Green & Blue Infrastructure Network as a new National Development

A green-blue infrastructure first approach would require a strategic, systematic and systemic approach to planning and developing green and blue infrastructure as a vital and integral element of place from national to regional, local and site level.

This would include a national requirement that multi-functional green and blue infrastructure is a key component of all new developments and retrofitted into existing areas.

NPF4 should set out plans for developing a national green and blue infrastructure network and processes for developing this network in regional spatial strategies, local development plans and local place plans.

A growing body of evidence shows how green infrastructure, nature-based solutions and multi-functional green networks can help support climate-resilient communities; improve the quality and liveability of places; contribute to improving health and wellbeing, and narrowing health inequalities; and act as host to low carbon energy infrastructure.

A National Green & Blue Infrastructure Network would contribute to:

  • climate resilient communities
  • climate change adaptation and mitigation, flood management and SUDs
  • net zero carbon targets – supply and support renewable energy
  • improving health and wellbeing – reducing health inequalities
  • access to healthy food and diets – providing space for local food production
  • accessible and inclusive places – active travel – access to quality greenspace – playable environments
  • biodiversity enhancement and habitat connectivity

Read our full response to the NPF4 Call for Ideas

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