Scottish Planning Policy (SPP)

The SPP identifies green infrastructure as an essential part of our long-term environmental performance and climate resilience. It seeks to significantly enhance green infrastructure, including improving access to and the quality of greenspace and green networks, particularly in and around urban areas, to create healthier communities and neighbourhoods that are more resilient to climate change and encourage investment and development. It identifies the importance of green networks, greenspace, street trees and other vegetation, green roofs, wetlands and other water features, and coastal habitats to help Scotland mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Local development plans should encourage the temporary use of unused or underused land as green infrastructure while making clear that this will not prevent any future development potential which has been identified from being realised. This type of greening may provide the advance structure planting to create the landscape framework for any future development.

Both Scottish Planning Policy (page 50) and the national Land Use Strategy5 (page 3) support the significant enhancement of green infrastructure in urban areas as it contributes to Scotland’s prosperity by encouraging development and investment.

It is estimated that 11% of Scotland's total annual economic output is directly and indirectly dependent on the sustainable use of the environment, estimated to be worth around £17.2 billion a year. This supports employment for 242,000 people, which amounts to 14% of all jobs in Scotland. Urban green infrastructure supports economic success by attracting businesses and investment, and can improve workforce productivity.