Multi-Functional Blue-Green Developments

The 25-year Environmental Plan (2018) and more recently The Environment Bill (2020) has been a clear driver to connect more people to our environment, improve health and well-being and to ensure we leave future generations with improved air and water quality, create richer habitats for wildlife and of course omit wasteful pollution from landfill and […]

The Conservation Volunteers: Let’s Get Planting

Mini Urban Forests – for people and green spaces Trees – we all know they are good for the environment, helping to combat global warming and creating new opportunities for establishing habitats and increasing biodiversity. We also know they add to the beauty of green spaces, enhancing the mental and physical health and wellbeing benefits […]

City of Trees: Let’s Get Planting!

City of Trees is the Community Forest for Greater Manchester and is one ten Community Forests across England. City of Trees work across the whole of the Greater Manchester City region, helping to plant the Northern Forest – a project which aims to plant 50 million new trees over 25 years between Hull and Liverpool. […]

Introducing 9 Trees

9 Trees, as a concept, was formed in 2018 by Michael Cunningham, an experienced habitat and business manager. He was joined by Michelle Kent, in 2019, an experienced countryside and habitat manager. They are now joined by an amazing team of volunteers! The vision of 9 Trees is to tackle climate change by creating new […]

The Barbican: Green Space in the Heart of London

Sited in the heart of the current City of London, the Barbican development represents a fascinating study on creating an urban town within a city.  Construction commenced in 1965  to replace an area known as Cripplegate, which was almost totally destroyed during the Blitz, and it was decided to rebuild the 35 acre site as […]

The Role of Maintenance in Successful Urban Tree Planting

Unfortunately, the maintenance-free tree has yet to be discovered. However, the correct species choice and an intelligent inspection regime can reduce long term liabilities massively. In this blog we discuss the needs of trees, and what happens if maintenance is skimped on. Once planted, the first couple of years of support and care are critical […]

Introducing Cool Towns

Readers may remember that GreenBlue Urban have been fortunate enough to work on two European funded projects – Water Resilient Cities and Cool Towns. The Cool Towns project is reaching an exciting phase with project partners discussing the design and planning of their green infrastructure interventions, including the methods that will be utilised to monitor […]

Long Term Successful Tree Planting and the Rise of the Planter

tree installation

Following some activity in the Twittersphere regarding the trees in planters in Kings Cross, a site adjacent to where we have delivered trees into our cell systems which provide for adequate soil volume and access to irrigation and the correct drainage, we felt duty-bound to respond. In order to maximise the benefits of urban trees […]

Green Infrastructure Walking Tour in Toronto

At GreenBlue Urban we are constantly committed to engaging a broad range of professionals to share our experience of urban tree pit design and especially the approaches to LID/(SuDS) tree pits in constrained urban environments. Planners hold the key to setting the policy framework that enable us to develop more sustainable and resilient cities and […]

Bringing Together a Wealth of Expertise for – “Suds in the City”

In the fourth of the 2019 roadshows GBU has undertaken, having visited Glasgow, Leeds and Cambridge, the team arrived in Manchester. We have had a long and robust relationship with City of Trees and it was timely that we collaborated to bring together speakers on the topic of SUDS in the City. Making the explicit […]

Discussing Future Approaches to ‘Green Streets’ in Leeds

In collaboration with Leeds City Council, Professor Alan Simson the Institute of Chartered Foresters and GreenBlue Urban were delighted to deliver another successful roadshow focused on the ‘Green Streets Principles’ that have been adopted by Leeds, Kirklees council and other adjacent local authorities. The event was designed to highlight the importance of considering the requirements […]

How to Incorporate Biodiversity Net Gain & SuDS on New Developments

It has now been confirmed in the Spring Statement that the Government will pass legislation to put Biodiversity Net Gain on a statutory basis and with this in mind we have to ask ourselves what does this mean and how can we design, construct and implement bold and ambitious schemes to not only improve on […]

Creative & Innovative Solutions from EUGIC

In the stunning setting of London’s Olympic Park, in the East of the City, the 2019 EUGIC conference showcased the best of pan European learning focused on creating resilient, healthier cities through nature-based solutions and water sensitive urban design. The programme encompassed a huge variety of topic areas ranging from the financing of green infrastructure […]

Embedding Biodiversity Net Gain into the Planning System

Following the close of the Government’s consultation regarding the new biodiversity net gain and the updated planning requirements it is timely to discuss the implications. GreenBlue Urban have been lucky enough to have insight from specialists at the forefront, developing best practice guidance and metrics to assist in the realisation of higher quality landscapes and […]

Why Urban Tree Planting Encourages Modal Shift

Modal shift is one of the most urgent goals in our urban areas; defined as replacing a saturated means of transport with another to make the first less congested. Normally it is used in the context of reducing our reliance on private vehicle use, and encouraging the use of public transport, or even better, walking […]

How Trees Improve Air Quality

We are all aware of the facts and figures relating to the effects of poor air quality on both human and animal populations across our urban environments. Indeed, there are communities in semi-rural areas and smaller towns and cities suffering from poor quality air, that one wouldn’t usually associate with having a ‘pollution problem’. The […]

The True Value of Tree Planting

With space and land at a premium in cities around the world, the need to make the case for green infrastructure and SUDs/LID has never been greater. Land use varies and clients and landowners will have diverse needs and a variety of ambitions and aspirations for the final result of their site. We often try […]

How to Make an Unsustainable Landscape Sustainable

Rome wasn’t built in a day. And considering that it’s over 2,500 years old, it’s fair to say that it has sustained a fair bit in its day. Over the past year, Rome has improved its ranking in the world’s top ten sustainable cities from 8th place to 7th, based on sustainable environment factors. Not […]

Garden cities and their role in the community

Whilst working with Local Authorities across the United Kingdom, GreenBlue Urban have watched the renaissance of the garden cities and garden village concepts with fascination. Originally planned in the early part of the twentieth century, places like Welwyn and Letchworth were designed as healthier, happier, more liveable places, to enable people to live, work and […]

Green Infrastructure as Part of Health Impact Assessments

The research into the relationship between green infrastructure and human health is well advanced, and across the world, Healthy Cities initiatives have been implemented and local/municipal authorities across Europe, North America, and beyond are applying green infrastructure to deliver added value and save costs related to health care. It is now more widely accepted that […]

SuDS, Trees and Brownfield

In the UK, mainland Europe and beyond, planners and elected representatives all face a common problem – namely, that there is a pressure to house and provide essential services and infrastructure to meet the rapidly changing and diversifying needs of our increasingly populated urban environments. When the question of developing on greenfield sites is mooted, […]

How to Prove Sustainable Urban Drainage to a Skeptic

For the first time in history, more people live in cities than in rural areas. The intensification of new developments has exacerbated the potentially damaging effects of traditional stormwater management. The hydrological process that nature intended to manage stormwater, infiltrates rainwater into the ground where it is stored, contributing to soil moisture and groundwater retention. […]

The Vision for Greater Lincolnshire’s Urban Habitats

There is no denying that the city of Lincoln and the surrounding authorities enjoy a diverse and beautiful network of green and blue spaces delivering a multitude of ecosystems services. To the west, the limestone hills and road verges of North and South Kesteven are proving a valuable grassland resource. West Lindsey boasts rich heath […]

A City with a Vision: Worcester Green Infrastructure Partnership

From the late 1980’s onwards, it has been clear that Worcester City Council has been dedicated to maintaining and enhancing their strategic green infrastructure network. The interplay between policy and implementation within the city and related green infrastructure partnerships is impressive. The team at Worcester City Council remain exuberant and buoyant despite cuts to resources […]