More than open space! The case for green infrastructure teaching in planning curricula

Andrea I Frank, Andrew Flynn, Hacking Nick, Christopher Silve

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1 Citation (Scopus)
152 Downloads (Pure)


Since the mid-1990s, the concept of Green Infrastructure (GI) has been gaining traction in fields such as ecology and forestry, (landscape) architecture, environmental and hydrological engineering, public health as well as urban and regional planning. Definitions and aims ascribed to GI vary. Yet, agreement broadly exists on GI’s ability to contribute to sustainability by means of supporting, for example, biodiversity, human and animal health, and storm water management as well as mitigating urban heat island effects. Given an acknowledged role of planners in delivering sustainable cities and towns, professional bodies have highlighted the need for spatial planners to understand and implement GI. This raises questions of what sort of GI knowledge planners may require and moreover by whom and how GI knowledge and competencies may be conveyed? Examining knowledge and skills needs vis-à-vis GI education opportunities indicates a provision reliant primarily on continued professional education and limited ad hoc opportunities in Higher Education. The resulting knowledge base appears fragmented with limited theoretical foundations leading the authors to argue that a systematic inclusion of green infrastructure knowledges in initial planning education is needed to promote and aid effective GI implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-74
Number of pages12
JournalUrban Planning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful for a 2-month Cardiff University Research Opportunity Placement for Joanna Pogorzelska who provided data collection and research support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors; licensee Cogitatio (Lisbon, Portugal).


  • Curricula
  • Green infrastructure
  • Higher education
  • Planning profession
  • Spatial planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies


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