As our cities increase in density, the importance of biodiversity within urban and suburban areas becomes clear.
Designing ‘green’ into our cities provides substantial environmental benefits, strengthens our communities, and makes our urban centres more attractive places to live and work. Additionally, there are significant economic benefits with increased property values, additional commercial opportunities, and a financial boost from tourism.
We promote a philosophy of dense, mixed-use urban development with green spaces designed into the scheme and wider master plan. Smart cities must grow alongside nature to create an environment we all want to live and breathe in.
To avoid urban sprawl, we need to promote city-centre brownfield regeneration, with creative planning of outer suburbs and preservation of quality biodiversity. Through the promotion of a compact growth model we minimise the overall footprint of development and retain greater open space, whilst preserving key features of the landscape. Access to public green space is actively encouraged, and fosters an interactive relationship between building and landscape.
Mönchengladbach Master Plan
Space to breathe
In the UK, the predominant model promoted by developers is that of a low density development where the private garden is deemed to meet the requirements for open space. Smart growth must stem from a consideration of where green spaces and parks are located, to ensure residents benefit from access to communal spaces. This reconciles the established ideals of living in the countryside, and sets a sustainable agenda for future growth.
Gilston Park Estate
Greater London, UK
Linking urban quarters
Integrating green spaces into pre-existing city fabrics provides opportunities to introduce a new and distinct spatial pattern, significantly increasing density whilst also providing vibrant public spaces with a strong civic identity. These changes increase the value of the area, and considerably improve the experience of those who live there.
Tirana Master Plan
We believe that nature and green space are essential for quality of life, and advocate the introduction of nature even in the densest of highly developed urban areas. Individual buildings also have the potential to contribute to the greening of the city.
New York City, NY, USA
Our common ground
Developing cultural strategies for publicly accessible spaces and parkland helps to create and a communal and shared identity.
During the Growing the Future City exhibition at Foyles Gallery we are running a campaign inviting the public to share their ideas, online and on our interactive wall in the exhibition space. Please answer the question: what would you do to make your city greener? on Twitter using the hashtags #growingmycity #greening. We’ll feature the best posts in our end-of-show round up.