Scottish Natural Heritage leads on the Scottish Government’s Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention (GISI), part of the 2014–2020 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme. The aim of the ERDF is to invest in communities to help them to grow economic activity and employment.
Our vision naturally makes a commitment to nature too, and we strongly encourage activities and approaches which will benefit nature on the sites being transformed.
Green infrastructure is greenspace and water that uses the natural environment to provide environmental and quality of life benefits. Green infrastructure includes the ‘green’ and ‘blue’ features of the built environment that can provide benefits and contribute to the quality of life in urban areas. These include woodlands, street trees, play spaces, allotments, community growing spaces, playing fields, road verges, swales, green walls and living roofs, rivers, streams, wetlands, sustainable drainage, active travel and recreational routes.
The GISI will create better places and enhance the quality of life by improving the quality, accessibility and quantity of green infrastructure in our major towns and cities. In the first batch of activity £15 million of ERDF money was available through two competitive funds: the Green Infrastructure Fund, and the Green Infrastructure Community Engagement Fund. Both funds target urban areas in Scotland that have a deficit of good quality greenspace, and suffer from multiple-deprivation and an excess of vacant and derelict land. As funding was provided at a maximum intervention rate of 40%, the GISI delivers a total value of £37.5m of investment throughout the course of the programme.
Communities in these areas will benefit from the improvement and creation of green infrastructure that will help to deliver successful multifunctional places, address inequalities, provide opportunities for better health and support sustainable economic growth.
Our ambition is to raise people’s satisfaction with the quality of green infrastructure in their local urban areas, bringing it more into line with satisfaction levels elsewhere in the country.
The objectives of the GISI are to:
- Improve the quality, accessibility and quantity of green infrastructure in major towns and cities
- Provide increased and better opportunities for people to improve their health and well-being
- Address inequalities through the creation and improvement of greenspace for communities in areas of multiple deprivation and/or for communities living in proximity to vacant and derelict land
- Provide increased opportunities for people to experience and value nature and promote greater use of greenspace by local communities
- Contribute to economic regeneration, providing benefits to people and businesses by investing in green infrastructure.