Green infrastructure

Green infrastructure is a strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas with other ecological features that are planned in such a way as to provide a wide range of ecosystem services. It includes green spaces (or blue, if aquatic ecosystems) and other physical features in terrestrial (including coastal) and marine areas. Green infrastructure refers not only to green spaces such as parks and open spaces, but also to blue infrastructure, which includes urban drainage and drainage ditches, wetlands, rivers, streams, ponds, puddles, ponds, canals and their embankments, as well as other watercourses.

In the same spatial area, green infrastructure can enable multiple functions and benefits (ecological, economic and social) through solutions based on an understanding of the benefits that nature provides to human society. The difference from gray infrastructure solutions, which usually have only one function such as drainage or transport, makes green infrastructure attractive because it has the potential to solve several problems at the same time. Traditional gray infrastructure is still needed, but it can often be improved with nature-based solutions.

We can say that green infrastructure is suitable for climate change adaptation strategy because it is flexible and adaptable to the local demands of the community. Compared to gray infrastructure projects, which usually require large costs for materials and machinery, in green infrastructure projects, the most funds are allocated to labor costs. This makes it ideal for a “fairer transition” from fossil to clean fuels and for a large number of potential jobs for overqualified workers and a workforce that is new to the labor market.

Green infrastructure in Croatia

As for Croatia, the Government adopted the Program for the Development of Green Infrastructure in Urban Areas for the period from 2021. until 2030 precisely with the aim of establishing sustainable, resilient, safe and livable and orderly cities and municipalities.

The program itself has three main goals: quality planning and management of green infrastructure development, improved, widespread, connected and easily accessible green infrastructure in urban areas, and a high level of knowledge and social awareness about the sustainable development of urban areas through the development of green infrastructure. It will create prerequisites for a better quality of life and health of people and contribute to sustainable social, economic and spatial development.

The most significant expected effects of the implementation of the Program are:

1) Encouraging green investments;

2) Creation of new jobs and establishment of new companies for the needs of construction and maintenance of green infrastructure and production and sale of construction and biological materials;

3) Achieving savings in energy consumption while reducing citizens’ expenditure on energy;

4) Reducing the effect of heat islands and temperature in cities;

5) Adapting to climate changes as well as mitigating the consequences of these changes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and preserving and restoring the quality of air, water and soil;

6) Improving the quality of urban areas by transforming abandoned, underused and neglected land;

7) Improving the quality of life and living conditions in cities;

8) Improving people’s health and reducing investments for the treatment of diseases;

9) Food production in urban gardens, greenhouses and conservatories;

10) Improving the condition and increasing the market value of real estate;

11) Improvement of the quality of space and social standard buildings;

12) Increasing awareness of the importance of green infrastructure.

The implementation of the Program will be co-financed from European structural and investment funds in the 2021 financial period. – 2027. and from the Mechanism for Recovery and Resilience through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan 2021-2026, in order to achieve the goals and implement the measures, activities and projects foreseen by the Program.


You can find out more about the topic itself on the 26th. January 2023 at the Designing A Green Future conference. Participation is free and you can get a ticket through Entrio.