Promoting sustainable greenspace

The Urban Regeneration and Greenspace Partnership launched

News from Forest Research: January 2011

Urban greeneryGreen infrastructure is the network of natural areas that support our health and well-being and provide a life support system for the 80% of the British population that live in urban areas. The Urban Regeneration and Greenspace Partnership (URGP) has been set up, coordinated by Forest Research, to provide an information service to highlight and optimise the benefits of well-planned and well-managed greenspaces and green infrastructure.

As well as bringing health and well-being benefits, greenspaces also contribute to climate change mitigation, encourage economic growth, provide wildlife habitats and enable communities to flourish and strengthen. Greenspaces include waterways, parks, gardens, allotments, road verges, urban woodlands and other natural areas.

The Urban Regeneration and Greenspace Partnership (URGP) provides information to community groups, local authorities and businesses, voluntary organisations, planners and developers. It has recently published over 100 pages on the Forest Research website, along with a summary report and a green infrastructure knowledge portal that links to over 500 source documents. See www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/URGP.

Looking ahead, the Partnership is planning to expand and supply information on:

  • Funding streams for the development and upkeep of green infrastructure and greenspaces
  • ‘Barrier busting’ – removing the bureaucracy that hinders community-led greenspace initiatives by providing an online interactive map that gives information on local greenspace initiatives, events and examples of best practice
  • A network of ‘Greenspace Champions’ to promote sustainable greenspace
  • The impact of emerging Government policies relating to sustainable green infrastructure/greenspaces.

The URGP was founded by public sector partners (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), The Department of Communities and Local Government, the Homes and Communities Agency, the Forestry Commission and Natural England) but is now moving towards a private partnership. Organisations interested in joining the URGP are invited to email urgp@forestry.gsi.gov.uk.

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This and other news stories can be found in the January 2011 issue of FR News, our online newsletter.