Urbanisation and the growth of global cities continues. As human activities within these areas increase, natural surfaces are replaced by asphalt and concrete for roads, buildings, and other structures necessary to accommodate growing populations. These surfaces absorb, rather than reflect the sun’s heat, causing surface temperatures and overall atmospheric temperatures to rise – otherwise known as the ‘urban heat island effect’.


What is Blue- Green Infrastructure?

Urban blue-green infrastructure (BGI) is a network of nature-based features situated in built-up areas that form part of the urban landscape. The network is a combination of both green and blue space set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an otherwise urban environment. Examples include visible water, such as waterfront parks, harbours, ports, marinas, rivers, open air streams, canals, lakes, ponds and fountains, parks, community gardens, allotments, and green roofs/ walls.


What are the benefits?

Multiple studies have shown that blue-green infrastructure is important as a climate change mitigation and adaptation measure, as well as hosting wider benefits to people and wildlife. Its presence can improve air and water quality, increase carbon storage, enhance flood and temperature regulation, reduce noise, and enhance and improve biodiversity. It can also improve the physical and mental well-being of humans, by encouraging physical activity, relaxation, social interaction, and community events.



Social distancing and the requirement to work from home has further highlighted the importance of green space to support a human’s health and wellbeing. Blue-green infrastructure boosts the desirability of an area to live in, support public health and improve biodiversity.  With recent local lockdowns, and possibly a national lockdown on the horizon, this new way of living is here for the foreseeable suggesting blue-green infrastructure plays a key role in the built environment and it will soon be mandatory for most new developments via the Environmental Bill.



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Written by Katie Townley  |  Senior Sustainability Consultant