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25 November 2015

GI – is it worth it?

This was the question we raised at our joint ICLEI-CEEweb workshop on 23rd November, Vienna during the first Urban Green Infrastructure Conference.  Since we wanted to explore both sides of the coins, we asked our more than 20 participants from all over Europe  to discuss both the economic downsides and economic benefits of urban Green Infrastructure.

Among many, participants mentioned that saving costs and generating impacts can be possible by raising property prices and tax revenues, producing urban food,  mitigating floods and heat waves, health costs on the long term (e.g. better air, more relaxation, more going out to the green and doing more sports, etc.), attracting tourists and increasing values of local businesses. On the other hand, it also results in higher rents and values of estates, have maintenance costs, considered as a long term investment with high initial costs and can cause gentrification.

From the workshop, we also found out there are several cities (Edinburgh, Washington, Philadelphia, Malmö, Geneva) who has started to make an inventory on their ecosystem services for investing further to Green Infrastructure. And we see why – because it is worth it!

Should you be also interested in further interesting news on cities and their Green Infrastructure, join our European Green Infrastructure Practitioners’ Network and Learning Alliance and find hundreds of experts and a lot of information!