The Plan and consultation was launched by the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, at the Green Infrastructure and Climate Change Conference that took place yesterday at the Guildhall.
Welcoming the plan and encouraging people to take part in the consultation, Mayor Boyle said the views of the public were central to bringing forward the key objectives and aspirations set out in the plan.
He said that the GI Plan is linked to the Local Development Plan and the Strategic Growth Plan and will deliver benefits across four key themes to include people and place; economic prosperity; biodiversity; and climate change.
“This is a hugely significant document that has the potential to make real and lasting changes to our local environment.
“We really want to engage with the public and get everyone to have their say on the plan and get involved in bringing about real and positive change for our future,” he commented.
GI is an interconnected network of multi-functional green and blue spaces, which provide multiple environmental, economic and social benefits.
It is mostly comprised of green spaces that are vegetated (woodlands, public parks and allotments) and blue spaces that are our waterways (rivers, canals, reservoirs and lakes).
Christine Doherty, Council’s Lead Officer for Green Infrastructure, speaking at the launch explained: “The GI Plan is a radical new approach that requires a change to the way we think about and value our green and blue spaces.
“It highlights that these areas provide a range of benefits including providing ecosystem services – essential benefits that people obtain from the environment – helping mitigate the impact of climate change, improving public parks, play areas, food-growing opportunities and the development of greenways.”
She added that linked to the Strategic Growth Plan there are three cross cutting themes within the GI Plan, which will focus on developing the health and well-being benefits of GI for people and our environment; raising awareness, understanding and appreciation of GI; and calculating the natural capital benefits of ecosystem services for local people.
The consultation events are scheduled to take place on Wednesday 20th March at the Guildhall and Thursday 21st March at the Alley Theatre in Strabane from 13:00 to 20:00.
Further information is available at www.derrystrabane.com/GI where you can view and provide feedback on the GI Plan.