Planning a green infrastructure network from theory to practice: The case study of Setúbal, Portugal

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Green infrastructure is a strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas that are designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services. It incorporates green and blue spaces and other physical features in terrestrial and marine areas. Despite the increase of green infrastructure planning in several regions of the world, such as Europe and North America, there is still a complexity and diversity associated with the concept of green infrastructure that influences the variance in approaches of green infrastructure planning. This research proposed a multi-criteria method that was organized in four steps for designing a green infrastructure for the municipality of Setúbal (Portugal) that efficiently integrated the ecological and social components in the planning and policymaking processes, as well as green infrastructure planning principles. The results show a green infrastructure that comprised around 91% of the territory of the case study, organized into two systems: the fundamental green infrastructure, which was related to the areas whose ecological interests were more favorable, and the urban green infrastructure, which aimed to enhance and intensify ecological processes in built-up areas. This approach focused on the protection of ecological functions, the preservation of the cultural and natural heritage, and the prevention of risks at a local level; it also followed several green infrastructure planning principles, namely, connectivity, multifunctionality, diversity, integration, and applicability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8432
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • Ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem-based management
  • Green infrastructure
  • Multi-scale
  • Setúbal
  • Sustainable spatial planning


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