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Green infrastructure "Framework for Action" unveiled during Climate Week

04 July 2011

A new Framework for Action developed by Community Forests Northwest showing how our green spaces in the North West of England can help fight climate change has been launched.

It sets out how our parks, gardens, trees, green roofs, rivers, and floodplains can be used to mitigate and adapt to climate change in Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and Merseyside.


Climate change is considered one of the greatest threats to our social well being and economic future. Using natural, or green infrastructure, interventions is increasingly recognised as a 'win-win' approach to combating climate change as they provide multiple other social, economic and environmental benefits.


The new Framework for Action sets out comprehensive actions to ensure that green infrastructure is planned, designed, and managed by all relevant stakeholders, involving and engaging local communities, in order to combat climate change and deliver wider benefits.


Implementing the actions

Organisations ranging from local authorities to transport planners and developers are being urged to use the actions put forward in the framework to aid policy development and delivery on this crucial and long term agenda.


Green infrastructure combating climate change

Green infrastructure can help fight climate change through:


> Managing surface water - green infrastructure can help to manage surface water and sewer flooding by reducing the rate and volume of water runoff; it intercepts water, allows it to infiltrate into the ground, and provides permanent or temporary storage areas.


> Managing high temperatures - particularly in urban areas, where evaporative cooling and shading provided by green infrastructure can ensure that towns and cities continue to be attractive and comfortable places to live, work, visit and invest.


> Carbon storage and sequestration - storing carbon in soils and vegetation.


> Managing river flooding - green infrastructure can provide water storage and retention areas, reducing and slowing down peak flows, and thereby helping to alleviate river flooding.


> Helping other species adapt - providing a more vegetated and permeable landscape through which species can move northwards to new 'climate spaces'.

Important for wide range of sectors

The new Framework for Action is relevant to a range of organisations and professions; including public agencies and service providers, local authorities, environmental, community, voluntary-sector and non-governmental organisations, planners, investment decision makers, transport planners, developers, urban designers, landscape architects, engineers, foresters, conservationists, farmers, tourism managers, and land owners and managers. It can also add value to the delivery of a range of agendas, including development and regeneration, low carbon economy, transport, health, recreation, tourism, agriculture, and biodiversity.


Background to the Framework

The Framework for Action was developed, through wide consultation, as part of the North West Climate Change Action Plan, by Community Forests Northwest commissioned by the Northwest Regional Development Agency on behalf of the Northwest Climate Change Partnership. It was supported through the EU Interreg IVC GRaBS (Green and Blue Space Adaptation for Urban Areas and Eco-Towns) project with the Town and Country Planning Association.


Read/download the Framework

Read or download the Framework for Action (3.8MB PDF) at:


Other relevant material is also available at: and

Photo: McCoy Wynne.


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