Image: Rain gardens at a school in Portland, Oregon USA/Emily O’Donnell
Following a recent discussion forum that explored the transformative change needed in how flood risk and water security are managed in urban environments, the Society has published a briefing report summarising the actions needed by national and local policymakers, planners, designers and developers, and local communities, to achieve the widespread benefits of blue-green infrastructure (BGI).
Cities are increasingly rethinking their approaches to flood risk and water management, transitioning from flood defence to flood resilience by implementing water sensitive urban design such as sustainable drainage systems, nature-based solutions and blue-green infrastructure alongside the more traditional ‘grey’ infrastructure. However, despite acknowledgement of the environmental, economic and social benefits of BGI, a range of barriers hamper widespread implementation.
Drawing on the presentations and discussions at our event in May and framed by geographical research from the Blue-Green Cities and Urban Flood Resilience projects, the briefing report, written by Dr Emily O’Donnell, outlines recommendations to enable greater implementation of blue-green infrastructure.
The report calls for action from range of stakeholders at a number of different scales, from decisions around policy and practice made on a national level by the national government, to individual championing of BGI in new and retrofit local developments. This requires strong collaboration between actors who are passionate about BGI at all scales to help overcome barriers and progress blue-green visions.
Find out more about this issue and read the briefing report.
The Blue-Green Cities project was led by Professor Colin Thorne (University of Nottingham), and ran from 2013-2016. The project was funded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) and involved nine UK universities in addition to numerous academic, industry and local government partners. The Urban Flood Resilience project followed in 2016, again funded by the EPSRC, and continues exploring how urban water systems might be transformed to deliver multiple benefits to the environment and society while creating flood resilient places.
Realising multiple co-benefits in Blue-Green Cities was part of the Society's Environment and Society Forum series of knowledge exchange events.