Scotland signs on to mass tree initiative

Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has signed on to a global initiative to restore 350 million hectares of deforested and degraded landscapes by 2030. The commitment makes Scotland the first European country to take part in the Bonn Challenge, which is predicted to produce approximately $84bn per year in net benefits. For more details, click here.

Newcastle University launches facility for GI study

Newcastle University has opened a National Green Infrastructure Facility to help nature-based solutions for responding to extreme weather, climate change and limited natural resources. The facility will allow researchers to better understand surface water drainage infrastructure and how green infrastructure can be used to manage potentially adverse weather patterns. For more details, click here.

Social housing and green infrastructure design fund

SFHA are working in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage, Architecture and Design Scotland and Scottish Government to support more innovative, greener designs in the housing sector. Building on the social housing sector’s track record for leading innovation, SFHA have announced an exciting opportunity for a path-finding social housing provider to access a package of financial and design support to help deliver an innovative social housing development that maximises the benefits of the vegetated land and water within and around housing sites. This ‘green infrastructure’ can provide space to socialise, to play, to grow food and to connect with nature. Green infrastructure can also provide a range of other functions that support successful places such as water management and managing the impacts of pollution.

They are looking to partner with a housing association or local authority housing provider that is intending to commission design contracts for social housing in the next 12 months. If you have a site that’s likely to include some significant areas of shared open space and are yet to appoint a team to design the layout, then they'd love to hear from you.

Up to £60,000 of funding will be available to enable the appointment of design consultants with a track record of working closely with clients, communities and other stakeholders to deliver high quality design that maximizes the benefits of green infrastructure. The project team will work with the chosen housing partner to set out a brief for the design consultants and a process for appointing them. The objective is to demonstrate that the resulting designs will be a sound investment for the social housing provider and provide design and process lessons that can be applied to other projects. The type of support will be appropriate to the nature and scale of the development and the stage the project has reached, but will focus on maximizing the contribution that green infrastructure can make to a successful place.

To find out more about the funding and support partnership you can download a Call for Interest Document. The deadline for submissions is 15 Feb 2019. 

Online tool promises to revolutionise value modelling

Developers of a soon-to-be-released online tool claim that their product will help boost investment in green infrastructure by using big data to accurately model the environmental, economic and social value of schemes. Greenkeeper will measure the complete value of green infrastructure schemes and demonstrate how they can be improved via interventions. For more details, click here.

How much greenspace is there in your town?

The Understanding Scottish Places website has had an upgrade and now includes new data, including greenspace. You can use the USP website to find out how much greenspace there is in your town – type in your town and scroll down to ‘Connectivity and environment assets’. The data is drawn from the Greenspace Map that greenspace scotland developed with Ordnance Survey. You can find out more about OS Greenspace and how to access and use the data on greenspace scotlands website