Blue-Green Infrastructure is a way to help mitigate climate change and improve the natural environment.
Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI), a broad term that describes the network of natural and semi-natural elements within and between our cities, villages, and towns, is essentially the greenspaces between built environments that allow for access to nature.
The blue elements are ponds and rivers, canals and wetlands, as well as water management systems. The green elements include trees and parks, fields and woodland. These networks can be as small as hedges, street trees, or private gardens, but they also include parks, river systems and woodlands.
BGI is an important part of maintaining our human health, and well-being. In fact, we have gained a greater appreciation for the importance of green spaces around our homes and at local levels, especially in the aftermath of the global pandemic.
Helping people, and the planet
BGI is a multifunctional infrastructure that provides many benefits for both humans and the environment.
It can contribute to community resilience by providing flood mitigation solutions. It can also positively impact water quality, biodiversity, air quality, and provide access for nature and recreation while greatly improving our built environment.
Building to increase biodiversity
There is still a need for a significantly increased housing supply in this country. Sustainability is a key consideration when building new housing developments.
In recent years, the main focus has been on creating energy efficient housing that emits less carbon. With the assistance of landscape architects, the housebuilding industry has an opportunity to think about sustainability in a wider context. This includes integrating BGI into new developments and creating sustainable places to call home that are not only resilient against the effects of climate change but also provide wider health and well being benefits to residents.
Economic benefits can also be derived from the creation of new developments rich in BGI. By integrating BGI at the beginning of development, a new development will be more likely meet local planning policy targets. This will increase the likelihood that the development will receive planning permission. It is often cheaper to include green landscape features like above ground drainage solutions and trees and green areas than hard landscape elements like underground drainage or paved areas. Attractive green settings are also a good way to increase property values and to attract investment.
Pegasus Group is emphasizing the importance of identifying existing landscape features early in the design process. This allows for consideration of how they can be preserved, enhanced, and integrated into new development plans as part of the multi-functional Blue-Green Infrastructure.
These networks form part the development site areas. They also link back into surrounding settlements and the wider landscape, providing valuable connectivity that benefits local residents, wildlife, as well as the overall success of this project.