Date: 12 Mar 2020
As global attention focuses ever more closely on the environment, Belfast City Council has published its first Green and Blue Infrastructure Plan to help protect green spaces, rivers and other natural assets in the city.
Chair of Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee, Councillor Arder Carson, said: “Our new Green and Blue Infrastructure Plan is about protecting our environment and improving quality of life for everyone in Belfast as we work to achieve our ambitious Belfast Agenda objectives. As the city develops, we need to carefully balance the needs of our residents and our valuable natural habitats so that we protect and create spaces for recreation, improve air quality and encourage wildlife to thrive.
“As a council, we now have responsibility for land use planning for Belfast and it’s vital that we consider our green and blue infrastructure as integral parts of the city. Like any type of infrastructure, these assets will only continue to provide us with benefits if we actively plan, invest in and manage them to ensure that they’re used sustainably.
“We’re grateful to our many partners and stakeholders who contributed extensively to the plan’s development during consultation and we’re looking forward to working with local communities, developers and other agencies to implement it.”
Green infrastructure includes the upland and agricultural land surrounding the city, as well as smaller sites such as parks, amenity spaces and gardens, hedgerows, woodlands and single trees. Blue infrastructure refers to rivers and streams, reservoirs, lakes and ponds.
It’s anticipated that the new plan will lead to more green areas and trees, more green roofs and walls on buildings, more greenways, better connectivity and rejuvenated waterways - all helping to improve air quality, public health and biodiversity and helping to tackle climate change.
The new plan will support the Local Development Plan, which is currently being prepared – and also provides the framework for the new Belfast Open Spaces Strategy.
For more information, go to www.belfastcity.gov.uk/GBIP