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Research at the Northumbria University co-designed and tested a self-assessment policy tool that improved the design and impact of planning policies by mainstreaming Green Infrastructure (GI). The tool has been used by planning authorities to improve GI policy at regional scales, and by Natural England to develop a GI national standards framework.



There has been a significant neglect of nature in the design and delivery of statutory planning policies, resulting in reduced quantity and quality of GI for people, communities, and biodiversity.



Transdisciplinary research to improve the inclusion of GI in the planning system culminated in a co-designed GI policy assessment tool (GIPAT), developed in an ongoing partnership with Max Hislop (Programme Manager at Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network).



GIPAT has been embedded into the GI strategies of the West of England and Essex County Council. The West of England GI strategy now requires the tool’s use in the design of local plan policies in Bath and north east Somerset, Bristol City, north Somerset, and south Gloucestershire councils; whilst in Essex the tool forms a key part in the Council’s GI standards.

Ongoing work, and these regional successes, have been used to guide policies and resources at national planning via Natural England, Building with Nature, and the Town and Country Planning Association.


More information

Institution: Northumbria University

Researchers: Professor Alistair Scott


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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) (2023) Transforming recycling policy and food waste diversion in Shanghai, China. Available at  Last accessed on: <date>