European support for Green Infrastructure

#biodiversity #EXPO 2015 #Green City Italy #green infrastructure #green roofs #italy #milan

Egbert Roozen speaks at Green City congress in Milan

‘Green Infrastructure’ was the main theme of an international congress that was held on February 25th and 26th in Milan (Italy). The meeting took place in the run up tot Expo 2015 in Milan, for which the slogan has been chosen: ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’. Egbert Roozen adressed the congress on behalve of The Green City.

The Netherlans are one of the six European countries  where the Green City initiative has been adopted actively. The other five are Italy, Germany, Hungary, France and Great-Britain. The European Commission in Brussels has expressed its full support for the Green City concept. Two directors of the EC, Pia Bucella (Director for Environment) and Kurt Vandenberghe (Director for Climate Action and Resource Efficiency) were amongst the speakers at the Milan Congress.

European Commission

The European Commission had formulated it’s vision on the Green City in a document of which the first sentences are:

“Green Infrastructure is based on the principle that the need to protect and improve nature and its processes, as well as the many benefits on human society, can be integrated into landscape planning and development. Realizing green infrastructure in urban areas reinforces the sense of community and helps to combat exclusion and social isolation. This approach benefits both individuals and the community on the physical, psychological and socio-economic development.

The Green Infrastructure serves the interests of both people and nature. It should be designed and managed as a multifunctional resource capable of delivering a wide range of benefits on the same spatial area.

Green Infrastructure includes natural and semi-natural areas, features and green spaces – from large wilderness areas to green roofs -, in rural and urban, terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine areas. By enhancing Green Infrastructure, valuable landscape features can be maintained or created, which contribute to the delivery of ecosystem services and biodiversity. The Resource Efficiency roadmap identifies investment in Green Infrastructure as an important step to protecting natural capital – towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth that is priority objective for the EU”.

Strategy

The purpose of the Milan meeting is the development of a strategy voor greener cities in Europe. One of the examples is the Climate Energy Plan of the French capital Paris, which aims at a reduction of greenhouse gases by 75% before 2050.