Semiar suggests ideas for funding green infrastructure in the era of budget cuts

These are difficult times for publicly funded green infrastructure, particularly in terms of maintenance and most especially for anything that is dependent on cash-strapped local authority budgets. So there was a danger that a discussion on ‘green infrastructure in an age of austerity,’ the last of three to take place at during the London residency of the ‘Rethinking the Urban Landscape’ at The Building Centre, could have been a simple rehearsal of grievance.

But all the speakers, while acknowledging that it would be good to see more public investment, avoided complaints and simply saying ‘More should be done’. Instead they looked for solutions.

Some ideas could mean focusing on the parks that we have rather than trying to create new spaces.

When looking at funding for maintenance, Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York is a great example, with a close relationship between development and parks funding. One way to emulate that in the UK, or at least in London, could be by diverting the money paid in property taxes by businesses. Brooklyn Bridge Park benefits from a tax of 8 per cent on property. In London, this would amount to £217 million – plenty to match the current maintenance budget of all London local authorities of £153 million.

See more of the ideas at www.landscapeinstitute.org/news/Ways-to-safeguard-green-infrastructure

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