Green Infrastructure Worksheet, Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), September 2008
The green infrastructure worksheet is the fourth eco town worksheet, following on from transport, community development and water cycle management Worksheets launched in March 2008. Other Worksheet topics being developed (as of September 2008) include biodiversity, housing & inclusive design, towards zero-waste, energy and the economy & ‘green collar’ jobs. Once they are all published, the Worksheets will together represent a comprehensive set of policy and planning guidance on the range of subject areas to be addressed and the standards to be met when planning an eco-town. The issues covered in these Worksheets need to be taken into account as masterplans for eco-towns are developed and assessed under the planning process. The TCPA believes that only eco-town proposals that have the potential to meet the highest standards demanded should be given the go-ahead.
Produced by the TCPA in collaboration with Communities and Local Government (CLG), the green Infrastructure worksheet was developed through a series of roundtable meetings where experts from Government Departments and Agencies - including DEFRA, Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission - chartered professional bodies such as the Landscape Institute and environmental campaigning groups - such as Grassland Trust, The Woodland Trust, Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, Buglife, Sustain and the Ramblers Association – all provided useful insight and practical experience of best practice in green infrastructure.
The guidance describes what constitutes exceptional green infrastructure for eco-towns and how this can be applied to eco-town planning and development. The worksheet highlights the effect that a high-quality natural environment within the eco-town can have in significantly reducing costs for individuals, businesses and public bodies - as well as enhancing the quality of life of residents. Among the recommendations aimed at eco-town developers, the worksheet proposes
- Developers should provide at least one major, well-equipped park in the ecotown, offering a variety of facilities for all age groups
- Every eco-town resident should have access to land, private or communal, to grow their own food. Developers should also look to forge supply links between eco-town residents, local food producers, processors and distributors to showcase the “re-localisation” of sustainable food production
- A network of “greenways” should be included to connect between larger or more expansive open spaces
- Safe-routes should be developed across a network of streets between open spaces and parks and homes and schools to encourage children to play without danger from traffic
- Open spaces should have a major role to play in contributing to sustainable transport, energy efficiency, water and drainage management, whilst ensuring a unique sense of place, heritage and local landscape character
The worksheet also highlights the example of Hampstead Garden Suburb in North London, offering its success in developing an urban area that is dominated by green space as a model for eco-town developers.