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A greener future for Bankside?

Over 30 people attended a breakfast briefing looking at how an emerging neighbourhood plan for the area might help secure better outcomes for delivering green infrastructure in future developments in the neighbourhood
Valerie Beirne
Bankside Urban Forest Manager
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    The new gardens at NEO Bankside
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    Urban Greening will benefit future generations of Bankside
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Now that national policy through the National Planning Policy Framework and Natural Environment White Paper recognises the importance and value of integrating Green Infrastructure for climate change adaptation and for nature, this Green Sky Thinking 2013 breakfast briefing asked experts in planning and sustainability what tools and approaches might help ensure it is core to local neighbourhood planning.

Using the provisions in the Localism Act, a group of residents, businesses and community interest organizations have come together in Bankside to form the Bankside Neighbourhood Forum.  Through this Forum, communities are working together to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for the local area, which will give further planning policy guidance for developers and landowners developing sites in the neighbourhood in the coming years. 

Why is green infrastructure important?

Bankside is a dense urban area in Central London.  It lacks any significant large open space, and is deficient in access to nature.  It does benefit from a network of small pocket parks and open spaces many of which are well maintained through strong local community organizations like Bankside Open Spaces Trust

Through Bankside Urban Forest, a partnership of public, private and not for profit agencies are working together to ensure that new developments connect with the existing fabric of streets and open spaces by delivering public space improvements in the public realm and on private developments.  Recently this work was further underpinned by a Green Infrastructure Audit of the area, which mapped existing green infrastructure assets, and highlighted opportunities for further interventions which could expand and connect these.

The briefing provided an opportunity to generate a discussion on how a policy on Green Infrastructure might be articulated in a Neighbourhood Plan for an area like Bankside.  It brings together the perspectives of strategic agencies working to embed GI in regional policy, the local authority securing GI through the development management process and a major developer implementing large scale regeneration initiatives at a neighbourhood level. 

Presentation: Introduction to Ecosystem Services by Gary Grant, Director of Ecoschemes

Presentation: Green Infrastructure Audits by Dusty Gedge, Director of the Green Roof Consultancy

Presentation: Greening a Green City by Peter Massini, Team Leader for Urban Greening at the GLA

Presentation: Delivering GI in Southwark by Oliver Stutter, Urban Forester at Southwark Council

Presentation: The economic imperative – the business case for delivering Green Infrastructure through developments  by Dr Jon Kirkpatrick, Sustainability Manager at Lend Lease UK.

In collaboration with: 
Apr 25 2013