Natural England was set to launch a developer partnership at the Thames Gateway Forum this morning (3 November).
The partnership — A Natural Development — aims to demonstrate the contribution the natural environment can make to urban regeneration.
Developers from Arup, Barking Riverside, Land Securities and Countryside Properties will look to highlight best practice and raise the standard of design and delivery for green infrastructure.
Pilot studies are now being established at the Barking Riverside and Lodge Hill developments in the Thames Gateway and a series of seminars will take place throughout 2010, exploring how best to value, design and create quality green infrastructure and to further engage developers with the scheme.
Natural England acting chairman Poul Christensen said: "A Natural Development is an important step in ensuring the delivery of a high quality natural environment in our towns and cities. Green infrastructure - which includes green spaces, street trees, green roofs and urban parks - has often been seen as only decorative. The reality is that it transforms city life. Investment in greening England's cities would bring a huge range of environmental, health and economic benefits."
A Natural Development is looking to ensure that green infrastructure is woven into urban development, either by incorporating it into new developments or by adapting existing buildings or areas, to deliver locally distinctive places that work with nature to deliver a wide range of benefits: for health and wellbeing, climate change adaptation and reconnecting people with nature.
Arup director Peter Head said: "I am very supportive of developing understanding of how important green infrastructure is for economic vitality, good health and happiness. We can bring these benefits to existing communities as part of improved low carbon place making and enable people to live in harmony with and enjoy the natural world. This should be central to all low carbon housing retrofit."
Countryside Properties director for sustainability Andrew Day added: "High quality public spaces and parks create economic, social and environmental value. Accordingly, we support Natural England's project as it aligns with our approach in the delivery of sustainable communities."
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