GROW GREEN: new partnership to demonstrate benefits of nature-based solutions in cities

Innovation will be the focus of GROW GREEN, which stands for "Green Cities for Climate and Water Resilience, Sustainable Economic Growth, Healthy Citizens and Environments." This new five-year demonstration project aims to achieve climate and water resilience in cities. Funded by Horizon 2020, the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, it is intended to showcase benefits from nature-based solutions in urban landscapes.



The Sustainability of the Built Environment

UK Green Building Council is undertaking an ambitious project to help track the overall sustainability of the UK built environment. They are wanting to demonstrate the overall sustainability of the UK built environment in line with five priority areas:

  • Mitigating and adapting to climate change
  • Eliminating waste and maximising resource efficiency
  • Embracing and restoring nature and promoting biodiversity
  • Optimising the health and wellbeing of people
  • Creating long-term value for society and improving quality of life

The project will be done by monitoring a range of indicators. If your organisation is collecting data or you’d like to know more about the project, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or click to visit the projects webpage

Constructed wetlands - natural systems for water management

The Constructed Wetland Association have announced details of their 2017 annual conference, entitled "Constructed wetlands - natural systems for water management".

The conference will be held over 2 days in September (27th and 28th) at Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucester. 

Day one will consist of an ‘Introduction to Constructed Wetlands’ training session, whilst day two will bring you up to date with the latest developments in constructed wetlands through presentations on the key themes of:

  • Natural infrastructure vs hard engineering approaches
  • Multiple benefits of wetland treatment systems
  • Latest technology and developments in natural treatment system

For more information on the conference, sessions, and booking details, see the attached flyer, or follow this link.

Green infrastructure as a building service design challenge winner announced

The ARCC network and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) have once again joined forces to coordinate the 2017 design challenge on the use of green infrastructure as a building service.

The competition asked for designs for office buildings (existing or in planning) that demonstrate how both indoor and outdoor green infrastructure can contribute to the health, wellbeing and productivity of staff, while simultaneously improving the building’s energy efficiency and climatic resilience.

The interaction of indoor plants with heating, cooling, acoustic management, air quality, staff productivity and wellbeing is an exciting and growing area of research: the benefits of green infrastructure don’t need to remain outside the building entrance.

The 2017 winners are Stephen Handley and Louise Handley from Amey with their designs for  the refurbishment of a recycling centre in Slough, incorporating green walls, green roofs, raingardens and indoor vertical farming. See more details here.

Urban areas should aim for 20% tree canopy cover

Forest Research’s Urban Forest Research Group is recommending that towns and cities should set a tree cover target of at least 20% (15% for coastal towns) and aim to achieve this level of cover within 10-20 years. Achieving this would require measuring existing tree canopy cover and setting realistic targets for increasing it. This recommendation was announced as part of a paper given to the Trees, People and the Built Environment conference in April by Forest Research’s Dr Kieron Doick. The research paper can be downloaded here.