Associate Feature: Greening the grey - why Scotland needs green infrastructure

Written by Mike Cantlay on 11 December 2017 in Comment

There are still too many areas with poor green infrastructure in Scotland, says Mike Cantlay 

Mike Cantlay, chair of Scottish Natural Heritage

Over 80 per cent of Scots live in towns and cities, so improving the quality of our urban environment is vital if we are to deliver a greener, healthier and more prosperous Scotland.

Scotland’s urban green spaces provide a range of benefits for people and nature.

Access to good quality green space helps people to get outdoors, enjoy nature and get active and healthier. Green space can also provide valuable services such as flood management, pollution mitigation, spaces to grow food and attractive routes for walking and cycling.

Considering green spaces as ‘green infrastructure’ in this way can help to create places which attract business and support healthy lifestyles and thriving communities.

But there are still many places in Scotland, often associated with areas of disadvantage, where green infrastructure is of poor quality, or is not fulfilling its potential in terms of the number of benefits it could provide.

This is why Scottish Natural Heritage is working with others to deliver better green infrastructure in our towns and cities.

SNH is currently channelling £37.5m of investment through a Green Infrastructure Fund to deliver projects across Scotland which improve or create urban green infrastructure close to areas of multiple deprivation.

We’re also carrying out research with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and others to explore how we can provide better green infrastructure through improvements to social housing.

Through our planning advice service, we’re helping planners to embed networks of green infrastructure into local development plans.

We also want to empower more communities to drive the delivery of more and better quality green spaces and to help tackle the blight of vacant and derelict land.

‘Greening the grey’ in this way can help make Scotland’s towns and cities better places to live – for both people and for nature.


Mike Cantlay is chair of Scottish Natural Heritage, which leads on the Scottish Government’s Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention, part of the 2014 – 2020 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme.



Related Articles

Scottish Government announces members of Infrastructure Commission
11 February 2019

The Infrastructure Commission for Scotland will advise the Scottish Government on its infrastructure strategy and investment

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse urges Ofgem to investigate households self-disconnecting from electricity or gas supplies
25 January 2019

Speaking during General Question Time, Wheelhouse warned that while data from the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets shows there were no disconnections in Scotland in 2017, self-disconnection...

BEIS to look again at cost of smart meters programme
16 January 2019

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy also claimed it can still achieve its target of rolling out smart meters to three-quarters of UK homes by the end of next year

Scottish Tories call to increase littering fine to £100
13 November 2018

Alongside proposals for a Scottish recycling plant, which the Tories say would increase recycling rates and create jobs, the party will unveil plans for a ‘Scottish Green city plan'

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Share this page