ParkCity - investing as if the environment mattered
16 December 2008
ParkCity is a two day conference in London from 24-25 March about the emerging role of green infrastructure in creating sustainable cities and successful, distinctive places.
The ParkCity conference is nearly sold out. If you want to attend, make sure you book your place now.
Green assets rarely feature in strategic thinking when looking at economic regeneration and competitiveness. We want to turn that thinking around. All investment from now on needs to be made as if the environment mattered.
When people think of infrastructure, they generally mean road networks and the sewage system, hospitals and libraries. The concept of green infrastructure elevates air, land and water to an equal footing. It emphasises the life support function of the natural environment.
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 for senior practitioners from regional and local government, health professionals, and all those concerned with planning and urban design.
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.
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.