The aim of the PERFECT (Planning for Environment and Resource eFficiency in European Cities and Towns) project is to maximise the role of well-designed green infrastructure in the future of cities and regions of Europe. This can only be done through learning about approaches where investment has been successfully secured by local municipalities and their partners, including using Structural Funds.
The PERFECT project kicked off in February with a weeklong series of meetings, workshops and study visits in London. Partners learnt about the challenges facing each of the partner areas in planning and delivering improvements to their natural heritage, and how different approaches to green infrastructure focussing on its health, climate change adaptation, and biodiversity benefits, can help to secure investment.
The partners visited sites in Bicester and London, to witness first-hand the impact of green infrastructure and to learn about the process for planning for, and investing in, its implementation. In Bicester, the partners heard from the local authority and a range of stakeholders including politicians, the town council and community about how networks of green space are being delivered in collaboration. A new community in North West Bicester is being delivered with 40% of green infrastructure, setting a standard for other large scale developments to follow.
In east London, partners visited sites that had benefited specifically from EU Structural Funds. The visit included a trip to Rainham Marshes, where partners heard from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds as well as local authorities who have worked together to create improvements to natural heritage, that is boosting the economic and social role of an area. There was a visit to Dagenham Marshes, where the Land Trust explained that funding for ERDF had been secured on the basis of unlocking commercial development, as a result of flood prevention enabled by improved green infrastructure.
This learning report details how the lessons can be implemented by the PERFECT partners in the duration of the project, working with organisations and stakeholders to improve their capacity. Partners are currently in the process of completing their baseline surveys and literature reviews of policies on green infrastructure, and will be identifying where their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are. As they begin to prepare their Action Plans, they will be able to draw on the learning from the study visits and transfer examples of good practice.
All these documents are available in the learning reports folder of the library section of this website - www.interregeurope.eu/perfect/library/.