Corralling the evidence about the value of Green Infrastructure. Martin Moss. Senior Advisor Green Infrastructure Operations England.

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1 Corralling the evidence about the value of Green Infrastructure Martin Moss. Senior Advisor Green Infrastructure Operations England.

2 Flow of discussion. Part 1 - What do we mean by GI? Part 2 - What are we trying to do with it? Part 3 - How do we plan for GI? Part 4 - What are the Benefits? Part 5 - What is the value? Part 6 Examples of the application of GI planning concepts.

3 Part 1 What do we mean by GI? It can be big or small, it s sometimes green but it s always an infrastructure! Most definitions focus on the components and parts of GI. But it s the whole being greater than the sum of the parts that counts. It s an infrastructure there to do a job. Green infrastructure should be considered as a critical infrastructure. It needs to be planned, managed and invested in at different spatial scales as with any other critical infrastructure. Natural Economy NW Green infrastructure needs to be regarded as infrastructure in its own right, assisting with flood protection, water storage and recycling, and providing shade, new pedestrian and cycling routes as well as space for recreation and biodiversity. London Infrastructure Plan 2050 consultation (2014).

4 Part 2 What are we trying to do with GI? Develop a living infrastructure that provides a range of services and benefits that; A. Contribute to the sustainable development of places and spaces. B. Support communities healthy and liveable places. C. Provide for the needs of wildlife the other species with whom we share this space.

5 It s a big and complex thing - You need to talk! You cannot do this alone! The benefits are broad and so are the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries also have a voice. Partnership is key to developing shared aspirations and a joint work forward. Green Infrastructure is relevant to you because it involves every organisation that has an interest in Cumbria s economy, environment and people. It provides wide-ranging benefits from inward investment to health and well-being. But it requires a co-ordinated approach from those organisations in order to realise its potential. Cumbria GI Investment Strategy March 2014.

6 Part 3 How do we plan for GI? 4 Activities and 5 Steps. The Four activities. Communication policy, politics and ownership. Planning answering the questions. Investment investing in the value. Delivery It happens!

7 The Five Steps.

8 Why plan for GI? To meet policy. The NPPF provides the national level agenda Local planning authorities should: 109. The planning system should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment (including) by: recognising the wider benefits of ecosystem services; set out a strategic approach in their Local Plans, planning positively for the creation, protection, enhancement and management of networks of biodiversity and green infrastructure;

9 Why plan for GI? To Integrate environmental interests. GI Planning is a means of identifying how the natural environment can help deliver a variety of social and economic objectives. It is also a means of integrating a range of spatial environmental interests. A network of green environment components that; Exist within their landscape context. Deliver ecosystem services (aka GI functions and benefits). Provide the ecological network. Enable access to nature.

10 Why plan for GI? To set spatial policy and proposals for investment and delivery. Benefits. Brigading the evidence about GI allows us to develop a spatial understanding of the benefits of GI. What the overall resource is. What it is doing. What we need it to do. What spatial policy is needed to maintain, enhance and/or create new. Values. Understanding value is closely aligned with investment case making. What do we get back? Cost benefit assessment. The case for maintaining the infrastructure.

11 Part 4 What are the Benefits of GI? Various GI Benefit categorisations. Mostly based on literature reviews of the evidence for what GI does. Benefits generally considered to be quite high level, policy related outcomes of a GI system. The system components deliver a variety of Functions that combine to give a high level Benefit.

12 Type Function - Benefit Value. EVAPO- TRANSPIRATION CARBON SEQUESTRATION CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION - URBAN COOLING CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION REDUCED AIRCONDITIONING COSTS/HEALTH MARKET VALUE OF CO 2 STORED PARTICULATE FILTERING IMPROVED AIR QUALITY REDUCED HEALTH COSTS GI TYPE / Feature GI FUNCTION GI BENEFIT GI VALUE ( )

13 An example categorisation. Climate change adaptation and mitigation Flood alleviation and water management Quality of place Health and well-being Land and property values Economic growth and investment Labour productivity Tourism Recreation and leisure Land and biodiversity Products from the land Stronger communities.

14 What does the evidence say?

15 Relating Ecosystem Services to GI Benefits. Where science meets policy?

16 Part 5 What is the value of GI? An Economist Would Say Benefits from environmental features are identified through logic chain analysis, or theory of change. New/improved environmental feature Change in environmental service provided Change in benefit to people But not all benefits behave the same. We can talk of economic value and economic impact.

17 Important distinction what sort of economic benefit is it? ECONOMIC VALUE The effect of a change on the happiness and welfare of society, regardless of whether this effect is felt through the market. ECONOMIC IMPACT The effect of a change on the size of the traded economy, commonly measured using GDP High value Low impact

18 A more general understanding how do we get them? In a non-technical sense economic benefits are sometimes described as; Direct. Indirect. Cost reduction. Risk management. Direct cash economy transactions for goods and services (requires interaction between green and business infrastructure). Indirect societal values or supporting transactional economy. Cost reduction reduction of heating / water bills, better resource efficiency (cost to profit). Risk management eg reduced flood risks (profit to cost).

19 The evidence base Micro Economic Benefits of Investing in the Environment. Extensive, increasing, multidisciplinary but still early days. Many research questions are being identified as gaps in understanding become apparent. BUT Natural England have compiled a broad literature review. First published in 2012 MEBIE 2 published Thorough review of literature on the benefits of investment in the natural environment. Over 100 new pieces of evidence. Simplified format. New chapters on; Consumer Spending, Pollination and Pest Control.

20 Evidence can be stronger - Air quality New/improved environmental feature Improvement in air quality Improvement in human and plant health Air pollution poses significant risks to human, plant and ecosystem health. Evidence is strong that vegetation, particularly trees, can contribute to air quality improvements. 547 ha. of mixed greenspace within a 10 x 10 km square of East London could significantly reduce pollution with an estimated effect of two deaths and two hospital admissions avoided per year (Tiwary, Sinnett et al. 2009).

21 Or weaker - Labour productivity New/improved environmental feature Improvements in attention; reduced fatigue Improvements in employee productivity Although plausible, there is a lack of evidence to suggest that the natural environment directly contributes to improvements in labour productivity. It may contribute indirectly through improvements to worker health.

22 How can benefits be valued? An emerging discipline, still very early days. A range of existing toolkits. Tend to be either; Broad ranging but lack robustness. Narrow range with higher levels of robustness. NE review CAVAT: Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees; Green Infrastructure NorthWest s Green Infrastructure Valuation Toolkit Guide to valuing Green Infrastructure from the Centre for Neighbourhood Technology Chicago; Health Economic Assessment Tool for walking and cycling (HEAT); Helliwell; i-tree Design; i-tree Eco; i-tree Streets, and InVEST: Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs.

23 Part 6 An example of local GI planning. So how are these concepts applied. It involves brigading the evidence of both the benefits conceptually and the value of those benefits to investment. Spatial evidence of; The GI resource. What it s doing function. Assessment of needs. Brigade to create spatially articulated strategy.

24 Typology Eg; Manchester City Typology maps a snapshot of the existing resource. Overall Manchester City is 58 % GI. 31% private or domestic garden space 19% rough grassland 11% general amenity land 9% woodland 6% public park or garden 6% outdoor sports facilities 2% blue infrastructure rivers, canals, lakes and ponds 16% cemeteries, development land, street trees

25 Beyond Green Space EG; Liverpool.

26 Functionality Liverpool.

27 Functions mapped in Liverpool work. Accessible water storage Biofuels production Carbon storage Coastal storm protection Community cohesion Connection with local environment Corridor for wildlife Culture Encouraging green travel Evaporative cooling Flow reduction through surface roughness Food production Habitat for wildlife Heritage Inaccessible water storage Learning Noise absorption Opportunity to hear more natural sound Pest and disease control Physical movement barrier Pollination Pollutant removal from soil/water Providing jobs Recreation private Recreation public Recreation public with restrictions Shading from the sun Soil stabilisation Timber production Trapping air pollutants Visual contribution to landscape character Water conveyance Water infiltration Water interception Wind shelter

28 Developing a spatial understanding of needs.

29 Needs met Needs not met.

30 Brigading the benefits creating strategy. Liverpool City Health a key driver behind interest in GI. 8 deferent strategic interventions identified partnership. But where to target resources and focus effort? Where is the greatest need? Where to get biggest return on investment? Spatial strategy and targeting.

31 And finally a look forward. The understanding of GI as an GI infrastructure is increasing, but a long way to go yet its inclusion in consideration needs to become automatic. We are expanding and improving the evidence base for benefits and values major academic area of interest. But large evidence gaps and a real need to improve quality and availability. We still need to get better at communicating the benefits and values - especially to economically focused audiences. We are getting better and more sophisticated at GI Planning. That s good, but it does get very technical. We need to improve how the often complex GI Planning outputs can be applied by no-technical audiences. ( It s good but I don t understand it! ).

32 You wouldn t plan without considering the need for transport, power, water supply or sewers. Surely we shouldn t plan without considering the need for GI the 5 th Critical infrastructure - either. GI Solutions to pinch point issues in NW England - Natural Economy NW Thank you.

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