This report from the London Society revisits the initial aspirations of those who devised the city’s green belt in the first half of the twentieth century and provide a spotlight beneath which it can be considered in the context of London today.
Curated by The Building Centre and the Landscape Institute, this exhibition sets out to show that with long-term landscape planning cities can become healthier, safer and happier places to be, from reduced risk of flooding, to countering bad air quality, to weaving more enjoyable and inspiring environments throughout the urban fabric. The exhibition includes many of the best international projects in its presentation of more than 50 schemes. A range of inspiring models and films are available for visitors to experience, and there is a series of supporting talks. Thus free exhibition runs from 8 January – 10 February 2014.
To facilitate knowledge and experience exchange on green infrastructure (GI) across Europe, CEEweb for Biodiversity and the European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC) have launched a LinkedIn Group for European GI practitioners. CEEweb in cooperation with ECNC has also created a ‘Green Infrastructure Knowledge Hub’, with amongst others GI cases and best practice examples targeted at specific stakeholders.
A number of contributors to this blog consider how art (in all its forms), exhibits, installations and provocations can be a better catalyst to raise awareness, support and momentum for urban nature and green spaces.
The author of this post considers issues raised at a green corridor roundtable discussion. Issued considered are enabling connection, building and exchanging natural capital, exploring how linear spaces and corridors can encourage biotic movement, dispersal, addressing the challenges of predators and invasive species, and encouraging ‘biotic connectivity’.
As part of Natural England’s responsibilities as set out in the Natural Environment White Paper, Biodiversity 2020 and the European Landscape Convention, has been revising profiles for England’s 159 National Character Areas (NCAs). These are areas that share similar landscape characteristics, and which follow natural lines in the landscape rather than administrative boundaries, making them a good decisionmaking framework for the natural environment. NCA profiles are guidance documents which can help communities to inform their decision-making about the places that they live in and care for. The information they contain will support the planning of conservation initiatives at a landscape scale, inform the delivery of Nature Improvement Areas and encourage broader partnership working through Local Nature Partnerships. The profiles will also help to inform choices about how land is managed and can change. Each profile includes a description of the natural and cultural features that shape our landscapes, how the landscape has changed over time, the current key drivers for ongoing change, and a broad analysis of each area’s characteristics and ecosystem services. Statements of Environmental Opportunity (SEOs) are suggested, which draw on this integrated information. The SEOs offer guidance on the critical issues, which could help to achieve sustainable growth and a more secure environmental future. This profile was placed online in September 2013.
Green infrastructure guide for water management: Ecosystem-based management approaches for water-related infrastructure projects
The United Nations Environment Programme has launched this guide, highlighting the benefits of the green infrastructure approach, which can reduce vulnerability to climate impacts as well as providing economic and other benefits.
This report from Natural England highlights the evidence of the benefits of green spaces to health and wellbeing outcomes, and the inequalities in use of, and access to, natural environments across England. The report also proposes ways to improve access and use of green space, in order to improve health equity.
This document explores the practical challenges and solutions to integrating trees in 21st century streets, civic spaces and surface car parks, detailing process, design and technical options. It will be of particular interest to highway engineers, public realm professionals and tree specialists. This is the companion document to Trees in the townscape: A guide for decision makers.
This submission on how best to deliver a new garden city won the Wolfson Economics Prize 2014. This document describes a plan to create a garden city of almost 400,000 people by doubling the size of an existing city. It is based on a real city, but not one that is identified. It is called Uxcester and is created from an amalgam of at least six other cities, all places with populations nearing 200,000, with long histories, established institutions and settled communities.