A legal approach to fostering green infrastructure for improved water and energy efficiency

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review



Over the last 30 years, numerous protocols, agreements, and conventions were signed to ensure that environmental protection related to climate change, pollutants, biodiversity, soil erosion, and water quality, among others, is part of the agenda, and the language of ecology has been introduced into political discourse and public policies. However, this does not appear to have been sufficient and there remains a need for national and international instruments that respect all future citizens. Buildings account for around 40% of EU energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions. Ways of reducing the energy consumed by buildings have already been developed, in addition to methods to improve water management. One such approach is the so-called ecosystem service-based approach for green infrastructure, with nature-based solutions that involve much more than bringing nature to cities. Green roofs retain water in times of heavy rain, especially in “waterproof cities”, mitigate the heat island effect and contribute to thermal efficiency of buildings. and air quality, with a significant effect in public health. Current construction standards do not lay down strict environmentally friendly solutions. Laws and regulations have yet to become goal-oriented, holistic, and interdisciplinary. How could (r)evolution in the law help green infrastructures to thrive?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBlue planet law
Subtitle of host publicationthe ecology of our economic and technological world
EditorsMaria da Glória Garcia, António Cortês
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783031248887
ISBN (Print)9783031248870, 9783031248900
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Publication series

NameSustainable Development Goals Series
ISSN (Print)2523-3084
ISSN (Electronic)2523-3092


  • Green roofs
  • Climate change
  • Energy efficiency
  • Sustainability
  • Urban law
  • SDGs 11 and 13


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