It is well understood that BGI can deliver benefit beyond water management to wider societal matters such as social, aesthetic, health and biodiversity. Funding such boundary spanning projects is complex and pathways vary between projects. Little is known about the governance of such siloed funding processes and connections between potential stakeholders are not always made. In particular, involvement of health agencies is lacking despite strong evidence of health benefits of blue and green space.
This paper describes work in progress comparing two case studies from the UK (Bradford) and the Netherlands (Dordrecht). The research will consider funding governance in three key areas:
- The type of funding, whether co-financed, own funds, an ad hoc subsidy or a structured programme and key players and drivers of financing
- How cross sectoral collaborations are facilitated, how they operate, who is involved and how conflicting agency interests are managed
- Whether there are any health agencies involved and how greater involvement of health agencies could be incorporated
The Bradford Projects involved developing a currently under used area of open space alongside expansion of an existing highway which runs beside Bradford Beck. The project intends to develop the adjacent greenspace, de-culverting the beck and enhancing biodiversity. In Dordrecht the case study is in Vogelbuurt. This deprived neighbourhood faces both flood risks and social problems. The municipality of Dordrecht aims to combine sewage management with redeveloping the sport facilities.
The evidence generated from this study will help to develop the theory and practice of BGI funding governance. By deepening understanding of governance of funding siloes and investigating the potential role of health agencies in BGI, this study will enable practitioners and policy makers to gain insight into the funding process, thereby helping to bridge the gap between theory and implementation of BGI.