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Chapter 1 Definitions and context of blue green infrastructure in ICE Manual of Blue Green Infrastructure 2023

04 Aug 2023

Chapter 1 Definitions and context of blue-green infrastructure Ian Mell (Department of Planning and Environmental Management, School of Environment, Education andDevelopment, University of Manchester) and Alister Scott (Department of Geography and EnvironmentalSciences, Northumbria University)

Understandings of blue-green infrastructure (BGI) vary, depending on professional discipline. What we consider to be BGI differs in scale, type and function, leadingto variation in what projects are delivered. This impacts directly on the terminologyused – BGI, nature-based solutions (NBS) or low-impact development (LID) –and the subsequent framing of practice. To effectively understand, deliver andfund BGI, it is important to assess the antecedents and the core drivers andprinciples of the concept to locate its application in contemporary landscape andurban planning. Such debates also need to be located within an appreciation ofexisting policy or legal structures and professional practice of the natural, builtand engineered professions to enable the core ideas of BGI to be mapped ontodiscipline-specific practices. Through an engagement with the temporal, spatial orscalar, geographical, functional and disciplinary variation inherent in BGI researchand practice, we examine how it can address the prominent climatic, biodiversity,health and wellbeing and equity issues facing urban and rural areas. To achievethis, the following chapter examines the role of BGI as a transdisciplinary approachto development that purposefully aims to create consensus between practitionersby way of a collaborative exchange of knowledge and best practice. This focuseson how BGI can be used, what types of BGI work in different locations and howBGI can support more sustainable forms of water, ecological and socio-economic development.


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