Debate on the future of the region is picking up pace

Fit for the Future? Green InfrastructureThe West Midlands: Fit for the Future? debate is picking up pace, with the Observatory today publishing an eleventh chapter to add to the original book of ten chapters (pdf, 5.7mb).

The Forestry Commission’s Bill Heslegrave felt so strongly about the inclusion of green infrastructure in a debate on the economic recovery of the West Midlands, that he submitted a chapter of his own (pdf, 928kb).

Green infrastructure is defined in the green infrastructure prospectus as:

‘the network of green spaces and natural elements that intersperse and connect our cities, towns and villages. It is the open spaces, waterways, gardens, woodlands, green corridors, wildlife habitats, street trees, natural heritage and open countryside.’

In his chapter, Bill says:

‘Green Infrastructure is not embedded as a priority agenda in the region to the extent it should be and in the current recession we run the risk that hard-line economic views will be entrenched. This could result in the benefits of Green Infrastructure being left further behind, with a resulting diminishment of quality of life for us all, including for economic recovery and development.’

The Observatory launched the book West Midlands: Fit for the Future? (pdf, 5.7mb) in July 2009. It’s a book of ten chapters, written by ten different authors, positioning the region for economic recovery.

This year’s annual conference, on 20th October, will be the main arena for discussion and debate. Delegates will be encouraged to discuss issues raised in the book and influence development of the evidence base to inform the Single Regional Strategy.

There are a few places remaining. Book online for the conference.

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