GreenBlue Urban’s Head of Public Relations & Strategic Partnerships, Charlotte Markey, recently had the privilege of traveling to Bruges, Belgium with a member of the Natural Infrastructure Team from Plymouth City Council. Together they met collaborators from France, Belgium, and the Netherlands to discuss an EU Interreg project which focuses specifically on communities in what the EU defines as the ‘2 Seas’ area.
This includes the regions of:
England: South-West, South-East and East of England
France: Departments of Nord, Pas de Calais, Somme and Aisne
Belgium (Flanders): Provinces of West-Flanders, East-Flanders and Antwerp
The Netherlands: Province of Zeeland and the coastal areas of the Provinces of Zuid-Holland, Noord-Holland and Noord-Brabant
Presenting to our partners on the potential of LID / SUDs tree pit design in retrofit scenarios, provided a vital focal point for the basis of our funding proposal. It is apparent that knowledge of SUDs and nature based solutions for water management varies widely across the 2 Seas region, which makes the cross-border collaboration so vital for the future resilience of European cities to climate change and increasing health and liveability.
The main objectives of the project are to improve the capacity of cities in this area to adapt to heavy rainfall events, through innovative and creative LID / SUDs solutions in a retrofit context. One of the key focuses of the SUDs interventions would be to deliver schemes in constrained public spaces which would deliver societal benefits as well as saving public money through cost effective design and implementation.
There are many institutional barriers to achieving the most cost effective and desirable green and blue interventions across the urban areas which comprise the 2 Seas region. One of the major outputs of the project will be to address these obstacles through a demonstration of the potential of creative partnerships on five key demonstration sites. GreenBlue Urban is proud to be a major partner in this project. We will continue working to create innovative new solutions for such retrofit scenarios, specifically in older town and city centres with complex and often restrictive existing infrastructure.
Through establishing larger networks to facilitate knowledge exchange between private and public sector partnerships, our aim is to provide transferable and replicable solutions which will be multifunctional, providing the essential ecosystems services to the urban environments into which they are integrated.