Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment
ParkCity – investing as if the environment mattered
Date: 16 December 2008
Green assets rarely feature in strategic thinking when looking at economic regeneration and competitiveness. We want to turn that thinking around.
There is one certainty in 2009 – all investment needs to be made as if the environment mattered.
When people think of infrastructure, they generally mean roads, electric power lines and water systems, or schools, hospitals and libraries. The concept of green infrastructure elevates air, land and water to an equal footing. It means integrating functional natural systems within and around urban areas.
Green infrastructure is increasingly critical to the prosperity of towns and cities, whether to cope with climate change or develop a new low carbon system of wealth creation. Understanding its value transforms open space from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’.
What is the ParkCity conference?
CABE and Natural England are organising ParkCity, a two day conference in London on the emerging role of green infrastructure in creating sustainable cities and successful, distinctive places.
ParkCity has been designed for senior practitioners from regional and local government, public health professionals, and all those concerned with planning and urban design. It will also be of particular interest for those responsible for community development and economic regeneration.
The conference will promote the latest experience in green infrastructure planning in North America, continental Europe and the UK, including the landscape-driven regeneration approach developed for the London 2012 Olympic Park.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson, world-renowned architect and designer William McDonough and foremost green infrastructure expert Edward T McMahon will attend to share their experience in policy development, investment and urban design that capitalise on natural systems. Joining them will be Sir Bob Kerslake, chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, and George Hargreaves, lead designer of the new Olympic Park for London 2012.
Why focus on green infrastructure?
Green infrastructure has a direct and proven impact on public health, helps create more attractive business locations and can reduce flood damage and dangerous urban heat island impacts. Green infrastructure can increase rental incomes and strengthen marketability.
In towns and cities, green infrastructure is multi-functional – for instance, an urban edge river flood plain can take flood waters, act as a nature reserve, provide recreational green space and grow food or feed stock. It creates more social, beautiful places to live and work in.
Things are not moving in the right direction everywhere. Entire street tree planting budgets are being cut, and pocket parks and allotments and being built over in every city. What we should be aiming to achieve in England are the greenest towns and cities in the world.
To find out more and register please visit www.parkcity.org.uk
- ParkCity website - for booking and more information