Challenges to Governing Urban Green Infrastructure in Europe – The Case of the European Green Capital Award

  • Natalie Marie GulsrudEmail author
  • Silvija Krajter Ostoić
  • Maija Faehnle
  • Bruno Maric
  • Riikka Paloniemi
  • David Pearlmutter
  • Alan J. Simson
Part of the Future City book series (FUCI, volume 7)


Green Infrastructure as a Response to the Challenges of Urbanization in Europe

As highlighted in previous chapters, urban areas are home to the majority of people in Europe. According to the European Environment Agency, about three quarters of the population now lives in cities and towns – and by the year 2020, this proportion is expected to reach 80% (EEA 2006). One of the consequences of rapid urbanization is a diminishing area of green spaces such as parks, forests and gardens, as well as blue spaces like lakes, rivers and wetlands (Nuissl et al. 2009; Kabisch et al. 2015). This decrease in green infrastructure (GI) can severely impact local ecosystems, reducing their capacity to provide essential services ranging from the management of storm water to the moderation of thermal stress (Larondelle et al. 2014; Alavipanah et al. 2015; Kabisch 2015). Urban populations may in turn face a deteriorated quality of life, as they increasingly depend on urban GI for social and...


Environmental Governance Policy Tool Green Infrastructure Governance Arrangement Urban Green Space 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Alavipanah S, Wegmann M, Qureshi S, Weng Q, Koellner T (2015) The role of vegetation in mitigating urban land surface temperatures: a case study of Munich, Germany during warm season. Sustainability 7:4689–4706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnouts R, Van der Zouwen M, Arts B (2012) Analysing governance modes and shifts – governance arrangements in Dutch nature policy. Forest Policy Econ 16(1):43–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arts B, Leroy P, van Tatenhoven J (2006) Political modernisation and policy arrangements: a framework for understanding environmental policy change. Public Org Rev 6(1):93–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benedict MA, McMahon ET (2006) Green Infrastructure: linking landscapes and communities, 2nd edn. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  5. Centre for Liveable Cities (2015) Available at
  6. Chiesura A (2004) The role of urban parks for the sustainable city. Landscape and. Urban Plann 68(1):129–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Copenhagen (2015) Copenhagen solutions for sustainable cities: state of Green and Copenhagen CLeantech Cluster. Available at
  8. Davis C et al (2006) Green infrastructure planning guide project: final report. NECF, Annefield PlainGoogle Scholar
  9. EU Council (2006) Renewed EU sustainable development strategy. Available at
  10. European Commision (2010) European Commission, Europe 2020: a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. COM(2010) 2020 final. Available at
  11. European Commision (2011) Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020. COM(2011) 244 finalGoogle Scholar
  12. European Commision (2013a) Green Infrastructure (GI) — enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital. COM(2013) 249 final. Available at
  13. European Commision (2013b) EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change. COM(2013) 216 final. Avialble at
  14. European Commision (2013c) A new EU forest strategy: for forests and the forest-based sector. COM(2013) 659 final. Available at:
  15. European Commision (2014a) An introduction to EU Cohesion Policy: 2014-2020. Available at
  16. European Commision (2014b) General union environment action programme to 2020: living well, within the limits of our planet. Available at
  17. European Environmental Agency (2006) Environmental statement. Available at
  18. European Environmental Agency (2011) Green dnfrastructure and territorial cohesion. Available at
  19. European Green Capital Award (2010a) Measuring urban sustainability: analysis of the European Green Capital Award 2010 & 2011 application round. Accessed December 2014 at:
  20. European Green Capital Award (2010b) Final report: Stockholm the first European Green Capital. Available at
  21. European Green Capital Award (2010c) Catalogue of best practice urban sustainability – learning from the Best. Available at
  22. European Green Capital Award (2011) Hamburg – European Green Capital final report. Available at
  23. European Green Capital Award (2012a) The expert panel’s evaluation work & final recommendations for the European Green Capital Award of 2012 and 2013. Available at
  24. European Green Capital Award (2012b) Vitoria-Gasteiz 2012 European Green Capital final report. Available at
  25. European Green Capital Award (2012c) Vitoria-Gasteiz – European Green Capital 2012. Available at
  26. European Green Capital Award (2012d) Environmental best practice & benchmarking report. Available at
  27. European Green Capital Award (2013a) A review of 2013: Nantes European Green Capital. Available at
  28. European Green Capital Award (2013b) Award Handover Ceremony, 2013. Available at
  29. European Green Capital Award (2014a) Expert evaluation panel – synopsis technical assessment report. European Green Capital Award 2014. Available at
  30. European Green Capital Award (2014b) Copenhagen insights – sharing urban learnings. Available at
  31. European Green Capital Award (2014c) Good practice report European Green Capital 2014. Available at
  32. European Green Capital Award (2015a) Expert evaluation panel – synopsis technical assessment report. European Green Capital Award 2015. Available at
  33. European Green Capital Award (2015c) Youtube site. Available at
  34. European Green Capital Award (2016a) Expert evaluation panel – synopsis technical assessment report. European Green Capital Award 2016. Available at
  35. European Green Leaf Award (EGLA) (2015) Available at
  36. Fuller RA, Gaston KJ (2009) The scaling of green space coverage in European cities. Biol Lett 5(3):352–355Google Scholar
  37. Goulden S, Garb Y, Erell E, Pearlmutter D (2015) Green building standards as socio-technical actors in municipal environmental policy. Build Res Inf. doi: 10.1080/09613218.2015.1116844 Google Scholar
  38. Govers R, Go F (2003) Deconstructing destination image in the information age. Inform Technol Tour 6(1):13–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Gulsrud NM, Ooi CS (2015) Manufacturing green consensus: urban greenspace governance in Singapore. In: Sandberg A, Bardekjian A, Butt S (eds) Urban forests, trees, and green space: a political ecology perspective. Routledge, New York, pp 77–92Google Scholar
  40. Gulsrud N, Gooding S, Konijnendijk CC (2013) Green space branding in Denmark in an era of neoliberal governance. Urban For Urban Green 12(3):330–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hajer M (1993) Discourse coalitions and the institutionalization of practice: the case of acid rain in Great Britain. In: Fischer F, Forrester J (eds) The argumentative turn in policy analysis and planning. Duke University Press, Durham, pp 43–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Hajer MA (1995) The politics of environmental discourse: ecological modernization and the policy process. Clardon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  43. Hajer M, Versteeg W (2005) A decade of discourse analysis of environmental politics: achievements, challenges, perspectives. J Environ Policy Plan 7(3):175–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hood C (2007) Intellectual obsolescense and intellectual makeovers: reflections on the tools of government after two decades. Governance 20(1):127–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hooghe L, Marks G (2001) Governance and European integration. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  46. Hooghe L, Marks G (2003) Unraveling the central state, but how? Types of multi-level governance. Am Polit Sci Rev 97(2):233–243Google Scholar
  47. James P, Tzoulas K, Adams MD, Barber A, Box J, Breuste J, Elmqvist T, Frith M, Gordon C, Greening KL, Handley J, Haworth S, Kazmierczak AE, Johnston M, Korpela K, Moretti M, Niemelä J, Pauleit S, Roe MH, Sadler JP, Ward Thompson C (2009) Towards an integrated understanding of green space in the European built environment. Urban For Urban Green 8(2):65–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Jenkins-Smith HC, Sabatier PA (1994) Evaluating the advocacy coalition framework. J Public Policy 14(2):175–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Jordan A, Adelle C (2013) Environmental policy in the EU – actors, institutions and processes, 3rd edn. Earthscan from Routhledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  50. Jordan A, Lenschow A (2010) Environmental policy integration: a state of the art review. Environ Policy Gov 20:147–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Jordan A, Tosun J (2012) Policy implementation. In: Jordan A, Adelle C (eds) Environmental policy in the EU: actors institutions and processes. Earthscan from Routledge, London/New York, pp 247–266Google Scholar
  52. Jordan A, Benson D, Wurzel RKW, Zito A (2013) Governing with multiple instruments? In: Jordan A, Adelle C (eds) Environmental policy in the EU: actors institutions and processes. Earthscan from Routledge, London/New York, pp 309–325Google Scholar
  53. Kabisch N (2015) Ecosystem service implementation and governance challenges in urban green space planning – the case of Berlin, Germany. Land Use Policy 42:557–567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Kabisch N, Qureshi S, Haase D (2015) Human–environment interactions in urban green spaces — a systematic review of contemporary issues and prospects for future research. Environ Impact Assess Rev 50:25–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Kern K (2014) Climate governance in the European Union Multilevel system: the role of cities. In: Weibust I, Meadowcroft J (eds) Multilevel environmental governance managing water and climate change in Europe and North America. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham/Northampton, pp 111–130Google Scholar
  56. Kingdon J (1994) Agendas, ideas, and policy change, 2nd edn. HarperCollins, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  57. Knack S, Kugler M, Manning N (2003) Second-generation governance indicators. Int Rev Adm Sci 69(3):345–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Knill C, Liefferink D (2007) Environmental politics in the European Union. Melbourne University Press, ManchesterCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Konijnendijk CC, Annerstedt M, Nielsen AB, Maruthaveeran S (2013) Benefits of urban parks a systematic review. The International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administration- IFPRA, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  60. Kornberger M, Carter C (2010) Manufacturing competition: how accounting practices shape strategy making in cities. Account Audit Account J 23(3):325–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Krajter Ostoić S, Konijnendijk van den Bosch CC (2015) Exploring global scientific discourses on urban forestry. Urban For Urban Green 14(1):129–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Kruegger R, Gibbs D (2007) The sustainable development paradox: urban political economy in the United States and Europe. The Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  63. Larondelle N, Haase D, Kabisch N (2014) Mapping the diversity of regulating ecosystem services in European cities. Glob Environ Chang 26:119–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Lennon M (2014) Green infrastructure and planning policy: a critical assessment. Local Environ Int J Justice Sustain. doi: 10.1080/13549839.2014.880411 Google Scholar
  65. Liefferink D (2006) The dynamics of policy arrangements: turning round the tetrahedron. In: Arts B, Leroy P (eds) Institutional dynamics in environmental governance. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 45–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Mell IC (2013) Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? Examining the “green” of Green Infrastructure development. Local Environ Int JJustice Sustain 18(2):152–166Google Scholar
  67. Niemelä J, Saarela SR, Söderman T, Kopperoinen L, Yli-Pelkonen V, Väre S, Kotze DJ (2010) Using the ecosystem services approach for better planning and conservation of urban green spaces: a Finland case study. Biodivers Conserv 19(11):3225–3243Google Scholar
  68. Nuissl H, Haase D, Lanzendorf M, Wittmer H (2009) Environmental impact assessment of urban land use transitions– a context-sensitive approach. Land Use Policy 26(2):414–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Pallemaerts M (2013) Developing more sustainably? In: Jordan A, Adelle C (eds) Environmental policy in the EU: actors institutions and processes. Earthscan from Routledge, London/New York, pp 309–325Google Scholar
  70. Roe M, Mell I (2013) Negotiating value and priorities: evaluating the demands of green infrastructure development. J Environ Plan Manag 56(5):650–673CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Roy S, Byrne J, Pickering C (2012) A systematic quantitative review of urban tree benefits, costs, and assessment methods across cities in different climatic zones. Urban For Urban Green 11(4):351–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sabatier PA (1988) An advocacy coalition framework of policy change and the role of policy-oriented learning therein. Policy Sci 21:129–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Torfing J, Sørensen E (2014) The European debate on governance networks: towards a new and viable paradigm? Polic Soc 33:329–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Torfing J, Peters BG, Pierre J, Sørensen E (2012) Interactive governance: advancing the paradigm. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Tratalos J, Fuller RA, Warren PH, Davies RG, Gaston KJ (2007) Urban form, biodiversity potential and ecosystem services. Landsc Urban Plan 83(4):308–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Werquin AC, Duhem B, Lindholm G, Oppermann B, Pauleit S, Tjallingii S (eds) (2005) Green structure and urban planning. Final report, COST Action C11, European Commission, Brussels. Available at
  77. Wurzel RKW, Zito AR, Jordan AJ (2013) Environmental governance in Europe. A comparative analysis of new environmental policy instruments. Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc., CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  78. Yin RK (1994) Case study research: design and methods. In: Applied social research method series, vol 5, 2nd edn. Sage Publications, Beverly HillsGoogle Scholar
  79. Young OR (2010) Emergent patterns in international environmental governance. The MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  80. Young R, Zanders J, Lieberknecht K, Fassman-Beck E (2014) A comprehensive typology for mainstreaming urban green infrastructure. J Hydrol 519:2571–2583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Zuidema C, De Roo G (2009) Towards liveable cities: progress in the European Union urban environmental agenda. Eur Plan Stud 17(9):1405–1419CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalie Marie Gulsrud
    • 1
    Email author
  • Silvija Krajter Ostoić
    • 2
  • Maija Faehnle
    • 3
  • Bruno Maric
    • 4
  • Riikka Paloniemi
    • 5
  • David Pearlmutter
    • 6
  • Alan J. Simson
    • 7
  1. 1.Geosciences & Natural Resource Management, Landscape Architecture & PlanningUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department for International Scientific Cooperation in Southeast EuropeCroatian Forest Research InstituteZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Environmental Policy Centre, Land Use UnitFinnish Environmental InstituteHelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.Faculty of ForestryUniversity of SarajevoSarajevoBosnia and Herzegovina
  5. 5.Environmental Policy Centre, Green Infrastructure UnitFinnish Environmental InstituteHelsinkiFinland
  6. 6.Bona Terra Department of Man in the Desert, Swiss Institute for Dryland Environmental and Energy Research, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert ResearchBen-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer CampusBe’er ShevaIsrael
  7. 7.School of Art, Architecture and DesignLeeds Becket UniversityLeedsUK

Personalised recommendations