A draft strategy on the future of parks and rivers across Manchester will be out for public consultation later this month; a plan which will govern the management and investment of the green infrastructure which covers 58% of the city.
The Manchester Green & Blue Infrastructure Strategy is set to be approved by the Manchester City Council executive on Wednesday 18 March. The document sets out guidelines for the management of the city's 160 parks, such as Heaton, Wythenshawe and Platt Fields, as well private gardens, rivers and canals.
Once signed-off, a public consultation will be conducted in March and April, with a plan for implementation drawn up based on the responses and presented in June.
The vision of the strategy is that "by 2025 high-quality, well maintained green and blue spaces will be an integral part of all neighbourhoods. The city's communities will be living healthy, fulfilled lives, enjoying access to parks and greenspaces and safe green routes for walking, cycling and exercise throughout the city. Green and blue infrastructure will be supporting Manchester's growth.
"Businesses will be investing in areas with a high environmental quality and attractive surroundings, enjoying access to a healthy, talented workforce. New funding models will be in place, ensuring progress achieved by 2025 can be sustained and provide the platform for ongoing investment in the years to follow."
The green and blue spaces to be targeted include:
- River valleys
- Existing parks and green space
- Existing and new green infrastructure within large estates such as schools and housing providers
- School grounds for environmental education
- Trees and woodlands
- Community food growing
- Private gardens
- Sites of biological importance
- Local nature reserves
- Projects with specific health and wellbeing benefits
The objectives of the plan are:
- Improve quality and function of green and blue Infrastructure to maximise benefits
- Use green infrastructure as a key component of new development to create successful neighbourhoods and support city's growth
- Improve connectivity and accessibility to green and blue infrastructure within the city and beyond
- Improve and promote a wider understanding and awareness of the benefits that green and blue infrastructure provides to residents, the economy and the local environment