December 2014: A new Mayoral Decision (MD) document concerned with funding arrangements for the research and production of the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 (see previous post on the consultation document for the Plan here) provides an update on proposals in the consultation to establish a London Green Infrastructure Task Force.
The consultation document stated that the “the Mayor is establishing a Green Infrastructure Task Force to advise on the future design and management of London’s green infrastructure … the Task Force will be established in Autumn 2014 and will meet regularly in 2015 to consider the key issues and challenges facing London’s green infrastructure in the medium and longterm. By the end of 2015 it will report on its findings, including recommendations for the governance and funding arrangements required for planning, co-ordinating and investing in green infrastructure programmes and strategic projects.”
No further information appears to be have been made available to date by the Mayor on the make up of the task force or whether it has held any meetings as yet. However, the new MD sets out that the “Green Infrastructure Task Force has been convened to advise on how to establish an integrated network of green infrastructure that reflects the full range of benefits offered by green infrastructure. A budget of £20,000 is required to provide the Task Force with the research support they will require to collate and evaluate evidence on green infrastructure in London”
A supporting paper to the 2050 consultation paper “Enabling Infrastructure – Green, Energy, Water and Waste Infrastructure to 2050” set out that the Task Force will explore:
- Whether the under utilisation and underfunding of London’s existing green infrastructure is a consequence of the lack of appropriate asset management protocols that apply to other essential infrastructure.–
- How the existing network of parks and green spaces might be upgraded to improve performance – designed and managed to provide additional services whilst maintaining their amenity benefits.
- New financing mechanisms and investment vehicles for green infrastructure to obviate the default position where by most of the existing resource is considered a public good provided through the public purse – despite there being no statutory duty for local authorities to provide parks and green spaces, and even less so a green infrastructure.