Urban green infrastructure (UGI) aims to strategically develop green and blue space networks that contribute to human health and wellbeing, urban sustainability and climate resilience. However, evidence on UGI research and application in the cities of the Global South is limited. An overview of the development of UGI in the three regions of Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia is presented. The selective review shows that concepts such as urban greening, urban forestry and urban agriculture are more frequently used. Traditional goals, i.e. city beautification and providing recreational spaces, still prevail, but the reduction of risks (e.g. from flooding and landslides) and securing food and livelihoods are increasingly important drivers for developing UGI. Habitat networks can be another entry point for broadening into multifunctional UGI. However, there are only few examples of integrated approaches that would transcend sector silos. Therefore, strengthening the capacity for strategic planning and collaborative governance of UGI is an important consideration for cities in the Global South and for future research. The potential of local communities for creating and managing UGI should be better recognised in policymaking, along with environmental justice because often the urban poor do not benefit fairly from UGI.