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Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention | JNCC



The Scottish Government’s Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention (GISI) project aims to create better places and enhance quality of life in some of Scotland’s most deprived areas by improving the quality, accessibility and quantity of green infrastructure in major towns and cities.


The Scottish Government’s Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention (GISI) provides a unique opportunity to create and improve multifunctional green infrastructure on a major scale in Scotland’s towns and cities.

NatureScot leads on the project as part of the 2014 to 2020 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme. 

The project’s ambition is to raise people’s satisfaction with the quality of green infrastructure in their local urban areas, bringing it more into line with satisfaction levels elsewhere in the country. It also contributes towards dealing with the climate emergency, being central to adaptation and mitigation. 


The project

Photograph of Fernbrae Meadows. A wildflower meadow is in the foreground with a housing estate in the background (© Karen Smith / South Lanarkshire Council)

Green infrastructure (GI) is greenspace and water that uses the natural environment to provide environmental and quality of life benefits. Green infrastructure includes the ‘green’ and ‘blue’ features of the built environment that can provide benefits and contribute to the quality of life in urban areas.

These include everything from woodlands to play spaces, from road verges to rivers and streams.

The GISI is one of five Strategic Interventions in the Sustainability strand of the 2014 to 2020 ERDF programme in Scotland. It also delivers the wider aims of demonstrating the benefits of GI with a view to mainstreaming it and influencing policy, planning and funding decisions. Successful projects all offer multi-functionality and the potential to directly provide solutions to identified issues with a clear evidence of need. The average value of capital projects is up to £1 million and the work they deliver will make a real difference to people’s lives.

Smaller-scale projects work directly with communities to increase their engagement with green infrastructure and build awareness and understanding of its benefits.
The objectives of the GISI are to:

  • Improve the quality, accessibility and quantity of green infrastructure in major towns and cities.
  • Provide increased and better opportunities for people to improve their health and well-being.
  • Address inequalities through the creation and improvement of greenspace for communities in areas of multiple deprivation and/or for communities living in proximity to vacant and derelict land.
  • Provide increased opportunities for people to experience and value nature and promote greater use of greenspace by local communities.
  • Contribute to economic regeneration, providing benefits to people and businesses by investing in green infrastructure.

The first projects started delivery in 2016 and all will complete by June 2023.


Environmental and societal benefits

The multi-functional nature of Green Infrastructure allows it to target multiple policy areas at once, making it relevant to the climate emergency, green recovery and sustainable development goals.

The establishment or enhancement of semi-natural vegetation in many projects supports urban biodiversity and provides direct adaptation benefits such as natural flood management and local cooling.

The projects are improving Scotland’s urban fabric through investment in green infrastructure, based on an understanding of the way the urban environment works and the benefits it brings to people, and involving people in decisions about their environment. As well as the green infrastructure they create or improve, each project also contains a community engagement element.

The GISI also has collective impact through using the sites as demonstrations of what can be achieved and for knowledge exchange between key organisations in Scotland and further afield. This helps to embed the principles of GI and Nature-based Solutions in urban governance and planning, through demonstrating multiple benefits.


Project partners

  • Scottish Government
  • NatureScot
  • European Regional Development Fund (EDRF)


Further information


The Inter-Agency Climate Change Group

This project is one of a series of projects which showcase some of the best examples of Nature-based Solutions from across the four countries of the UK. The information has been compiled by the UK Inter-Agency Climate Change Group (IACCG), and is being hosted on the JNCC website on behalf of the group.



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