The impact of austerity on funding green infrastructure: A DPSIR evaluation of the Liverpool Green & Open Space Review (LG&OSR), UK

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Following the introduction of austerity measures by the coalition government in 2010, Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) across the UK were required to take stock of those services that they are legally and financially obliged to deliver. One area directly impacted has been the funding of green infrastructure (GI), which is often considered an “optional extra” in service provision. The financial limitations placed on GI maintenance have a significant influence on both the liveability and quality of urban environments. To address this dilemma this paper contextualises the complexities facing UK cities within a global discussion of GI financing but goes further by presenting an ex-post DPSIR examination of the choices being made by Liverpool City Council (LCC) to fund maintenance. DPSIR is an evaluation process which provides scope to better understand the factors influencing GI at an LPA scale. The paper reflects upon the drivers, pressures and impacts associated with austerity asking what responses are being used by LCC. The paper argues that, although austerity has placed significant constraints on LCC, through the Liverpool Green & Open Space Review (LG&OSR) the city is engaged in an ongoing dialogue pertaining to innovative funding mechanisms. It concludes that, although no single approach can effectively finance GI, a suite of complementary financial models exists, which are transferable between cities addressing current political, socio-economic, and ecological limitations.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Oct 2019