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Green Infrastructure: An Evidence Base for Birmingham. Emily May 15.07.2010. Introduction. Part of the Birmingham Climate Change Adaptation Partnership’s work to understand the climate risks we face in the future Aim: Develop a green infrastructure evidence base for Birmingham

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Green Infrastructure: An Evidence Base for Birmingham

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Green infrastructure an evidence base for birmingham

Green Infrastructure: An Evidence Base for Birmingham

Emily May




  • Part of the Birmingham Climate Change Adaptation Partnership’s work to understand the climate risks we face in the future

  • Aim:

    • Develop a green infrastructure evidence base for Birmingham

      • Literature research to find out the benefits of green infrastructure

      • What has already been done within Birmingham

      • What can be done in the future

What is green infrastructure

What is Green Infrastructure?

  • “a network of multi-functional green space, both new and existing, both rural and urban, which supports the natural and ecological processes and is integral to the health and quality of life of sustainable communities”. –Communities and Local Government Planning Statement 12

  • “our natural health service”

  • “needed to underpin sustainability in the face of changes to our climate”

Benefits of green infrastructure

Benefits of Green Infrastructure

Projects in birmingham

Projects in Birmingham

Case Study 1: Kingfisher Country Park

  • Aim: To take care of the River Cole and its wildlife and make it more accessible to the public

  • Sponsored by Birmingham CC, Solihull MBC, EA, English Nature and the Wildlife Trust

  • Successfully linked the River Cole Valley to the Shire Country Park and Sheldon Country Park, opening up 11 miles of the River

  • The land contains scrubland, woodland, green public space, lakes and pools, some of which provide flood protection

  • Wildlife has increased in the area, with trout and otters inhabiting parts of the valley

Projects in birmingham1

Projects in Birmingham

Case Study 2: Tree Planting in Balsall Heath

  • Balsall Heath is an inner city area of Birmingham that is affected by the Urban Heat Island

  • Balsall Heath Forum worked together with BEP to prepare for extreme weather and adapt to climate change by planting trees

  • Birmingham Climate Change Adaptation Partnership funded the planting of 150 trees in Spring 2010

  • The trees were planted all over Balsall Heath and some replaced those which were damaged during the 2005 tornado

Projects in birmingham2

Projects in Birmingham

Case Study 3: Brown Roofs

  • Brown roofs are a type of extensive green roof designed to replicate a specific species habitat

  • Being investigated at University of Birmingham to see how well roofs perform ecologically, and whether designs that perform well ecologically also perform well hydrologically

  • Initial results show that rubble-like aggregates used to create brown roofs retain water poorly

  • There are more cost effective ways to retain biodiversity, particularly in areas where green space is still available

An assessment of need

An assessment of need

  • Investigations around the outer and inner circle routes were taken to assess need

  • The map was used and compared to the circular routes

  • Red circled areas were identified as being most in need of greening

Specific recommendations for birmingham

Specific recommendations for Birmingham

1) Develop a Blue Corridor and Flood Plain Development Policy

  • Water courses run through the areas identified as in need of greening

  • Is there potential to clean up the waterways, make them more accessible and reduce flood risk

  • Similar opportunities along highways to create green linkages?

Specific recommendations for birmingham1

Specific recommendations for Birmingham

2) Link the Local Biodiversity Action Plan to the GI Strategy

  • LBAP identifies strategic landscape scale opportunities for habitat creation and enhancement

  • This could be built up on in the GI strategy by:

    • Downscaling the objectives to a more local level

    • Identifying specific habitat enhancement opportunities by looking at gaps in provision

    • Linking up biodiversity hot spots

Suggestions for the future

Suggestions for the Future

  • Further investigation of the 2 recommendations above

  • Use the Public Benefit Recording System to identify areas in particular need of greening (e.g. PBRS used in Lancaster and the Black Country)

  • Develop suitable policies that cover greening in public open spaces, green roofs and sustainable drainage

  • Work together at a sub-regional/regional level to ensure maximum potential for green development is reached

  • How can the core strategy be improved over time to incorporate advances in research?

Thank you

Thank You!!

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