Urban Green Infrastructure Handbook

AILA leads the development of a new handbook from Standards Australia

Urban Green Infrastructure (UGI) can no longer be viewed as a ‘nice to have’, it is a must have for all involved in the urban infrastructure space.
AILA, along with a team of subject matter experts have led the development of a critical new Handbook on ‘Urban Green Infrastructure’, published by Standards Australia. Government and industry recognise the urgency in greening our urban areas, but without a national UGI framework, the approach and outcomes of past efforts have varied widely and without a consistent framework we risk repeating the mistakes of the past.

This handbook meets the urgent demand for a nationally consistent UGI framework.

Driven by a technical committee Chaired by AILA CEO, Ben Stockwin, and comprising of David Martin, AILA (SOPA), Sebastian Pfautsch (WSU), Stephen Livesley (Uni of Melb), John Brockoff (PIA), Leigh Trevitt, FAILA (Transport NSW), David Duncan, AILA (Loci Design Collective), Nick Burt (FMA), Craig Woodroffe (Ellenby Tree Farm).
This handbook is written for industry and government professionals across all Australian jurisdictions, especially: 


  • Planning, engineering, design, research, and construction professionals across the urban greening, built environment, and horticultural sectors.
  • Policy makers for sustainable development and urban greening.
  • Those applying for UGI grants.
  • Land and asset owners and facility managers.
  • Investors.

It aims to inform policy and support best practice for planning and development in several ways:

  • Provides tools for planners and developers to incorporate existing and new UGI.
  • Substitutes existing conflicting guidelines.
  • Creates a level playing field for government, industry and landowners where retention of UGI is incentivised or compensated.
  • Strengthens UGI co-benefits, including micro-climates, mental and physical health, biodiversity, and climate resilience.
  • Delivers a starting point towards legislating mandatory UGI.
  • Aligns with Treasury processes for state and federal infrastructure funding.
  • Develops a shared understanding of UGI, to help the whole field gain momentum.

Included in the handbook:

  • Nationally consistent terminology.
  • Guidance for both traditional and new elements, from street trees to vertical gardens.
  • Assistance with setting and measuring progress against UGI targets.
  • Outlines how green infrastructure integrates with grey and blue infrastructure.
  • A simple and practical national framework for planning and design practitioners.
  • Applicable to projects of differing sizes, timescales, management and ownership.
  • Includes urban canopy, green roofs and walls, parks, reserves, and waterways.
  • Potential integration with government planning instruments and building codes.
  • A decision framework that guides high quality UGI for individual government, industry, community and private projects, including existing and additional UGI in urban infill and greenfield development.

It saves energy, increases property value, and extends the life of grey infrastructure. It is a ‘must have’ for healthy, walkable, liveable and climate resilient communities.
AILA has been proud to lead the development of the critical addition to this national policy framework as it continues to ‘lead a dynamic and respected profession; creating great spaces to support healthy communities and a sustainable planet.’ 

To preview the handbook or download a copy of the handbook, visit the Standards Australia Online Store. For more information, please contact [email protected].

Download the handbook

Visit the Standards Australia online store for more information. For more information, please contact [email protected].