Enabling sustainable cities through green and blue infrastructure
Urban conurbations are predominately influenced by the built environment – our grey infrastructure. However, quality of life, health and personal fulfilment is closely related to the provision of green space, but the pressures of density on developments can make provision of adequate space for green components difficult to achieve.
Integrating the green (soft areas, plants and trees) with the blue (watercourses, ponds, lakes and storm drainage) elements makes our urban spaces more resilient, pleasant and healthy places to live, work and play.
Green infrastructure is often described as interconnected networks of multifunctional green space which provides multiple benefits and can accommodate sustainable development. These elements include parks, open space, trees, both street and private, playing fields, woods, private gardens, allotments and green roofs and walls.
Benefits of Green Infrastructure
Properties landscaped with trees sell quicker and are worth 5% to 15% more than homes without trees.
A single mature tree can absorb carbon at a rate of 21.6kg per year.
Increased canopy cover helps mitigate air pollution, with street trees reducing particulate matter concentration by 15-20%.
Trees properly placed around buildings as windbreaks can save up to 25% on winter heating costs.
People are willing to pay 9% to 12% more for goods and services in a shopping area with large, well-cared for trees.
For every 10% increase in urban tree canopy, carbon is reduced by 3-7%.
Blue infrastructure usually relates to urban water infrastructure, including ponds, lakes, streams rivers and storm water provision. Sustainable drainage schemes are usually included under this heading but are sometimes also labelled as green infrastructure.
Combining Green and Blue elements together is an effective way of providing a sustainable natural solution to urban and climatic challenges. Vegetation assists with air pollution removal, storm water management and heat island effects as well as creating places which are more pleasant and less stressful to live in.
GreenBlue Urban are global leaders in harnessing nature to protect communities from extreme climatic challenges and to improve quality of life in the most challenging urban areas.