Green City Briefings 2021

AIPH, in collaboration with the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, hosted the City of London Green City Briefings from April to December 2021. The City of London Green City Briefings is a series of 8 one-hour webinars that present compelling evidence and examples of the power of ‘living green’ in delivering multiple solutions to city challenges.

Climate change is at the core of ‘Build Back Better’ conversations, and the City of London is committed to making London a greener city while addressing climate change and economic stability. Adaptation to climate change has nature at its core, and the evidence of plants – the ‘living green’ – in creating and accelerating the change that is needed for vibrant city life is compelling.

These briefings aim to provide the latest evidence for the benefits of plants in creating liveable, resilient cities and present practical examples of how these benefits are realised. The focus of this series is on adapting to climate change.

The sessions available on-demand are:

The City of the Future is Green

The introductory briefing presents the worldwide adoption of living green in cities as a result of compelling evidence of the benefits for city resilience and citizen health and wellbeing. It responds to a global shift in thinking that addresses climate change adaptation alongside climate change mitigation.

The Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman William Russell opened the briefings and Sir Roger Gifford presented ‘Hype or Hope: the Promise of Green Finance.’

 

Nature-based solutions for water management in cities

Expansion of city infrastructure places pressure on traditional engineered water systems, particularly during extreme weather events that are increasing in frequency. Nature-based-solutions that address issues of flooding and water pollution in cities work contribute aesthetic, biodiversity, leisure and health benefits alongside their functional capacity. This briefing explores how planning that encourages nature-based-solutions to water management co-delivers on creating spaces that are part of the city’s future as a greener city.

In this briefing, MC M’Lisa Lee Colbert, Associate Director of The Nature of Cities, introduced speakers Robert Brears, Founder of Our Future Water, and Prof. James Hitchmough, University of Sheffield.

Green Roofs and Walls – an extra-dimensional approach to city greening

Innovative thinking of horizontal and vertical spaces enables retrofitting living green into city infrastructure, delivering solutions to the impacts of climate change, supporting local biodiversity, and improving the visual urban landscape. This briefing reports on implementation and planning of green roof and walls in response to legislation and financial incentives that support greater uptake.

In this briefing, MC Daniela Rizzi, ICLEI, introduced speakers Dusty Gedge, President Federation of European Green Roofs and Walls, and Kelvin Kan, Principal Architect & Facade Consultant.

The intersection between built infrastructure, wellbeing, and nature

Quantifiable benefits of incorporating plants in office interior and exterior landscapes are revealed in neurological and physiological studies. Economic studies illustrate significant savings through enhanced productivity and creativity, and reduced absenteeism. In this briefing the opportunities, benefits, and processes of creating an effective, highly desirable built urban environment are discussed in the context of cities as a healthy human environment.

In this briefing, MC Jennifer McKelvie, Toronto Councillor, introduced speakers Dr Curtis Gubb, Environmental Consultant at Cundall, London, and Marion Waller, advisor to the Mayor of Paris.

Urban Heat Island Effect and Urban Forests

Planting trees in cities is a high profile activity reported around the globe. Trees certainly have a significant contribution to make in reducing the UHI effect, and reducing the serious health impacts of this phenomenon that has resulted from converging issues of climate change and increased built infrastructure. In this briefing the merits of trees are presented with attention to the importance of design, construction and maintenance in delivering benefits.

In this briefing, MC Prof. Rob Adams AM introduced speakers Cecil van Konijnendijk, Director of the Nature-based-solutions Institute, and Ian Shears, Principal of Ian Shears Green Infrastructure + Urban Forestry.

The Critical Dynamics of City Biodiversity and Global Conservation

Cities are gaining recognition as identifiable ecosystems, and play an increasingly important role in global conservation. This briefing considers local action to enhance biodiversity, links with city-wide ecological corridors, and interactions with the wider landscape that direct city planning and growth.

Moderated by Dr Heather Barrett-Mold, Master of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, this session welcomed Mrs Hilary Russell, The Lady Mayoress, City of London, Dr Mike Maunder, Executive Director, Cambridge Conservation Initiative, and Marina Ruta, Lead of the BiodiverCities by 2030 Initiative by the World Economic Forum.

Air Quality in Cities: the realistic and real benefits of plants

Local improvements in air quality delivered by urban greening as climate change adaptation measures run alongside climate change mitigation strategies to reduce air pollution from emissions. This briefing focuses on providing clarity on what can be expected from living green within a multi-faceted approach to managing air pollution in cities.

Moderated by Dr Audrey Timm, AIPH Technical Advisor, this session welcomed Dr Henrik Sjöman from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Dr Tijana Blanusa, RHS Principal Horticultural Scientist based at the University of Reading.

City of London Update on Climate Action

Climate resilience is key to securing the City of London’s future and the City of London Corporation is proud to have put it’s plans to increase resilience on a par with reaching net zero emissions. Our two speakers will introduce the City of London Corporation’s approach to climate action and enhancing biodiversity in the City of London and focus on practical measures to increasing climate resilience which are already being implemented.

Moderated by Dr. Heather Barrett-Mold, Immediate Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, this session welcomed Alderman Alison Gowman and Mr Gordon Roy from the City of London Corporation.

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