Future planning: designing places in a climate emergency

As urban areas grow and the realities of the climate emergency become clearer, there is a need to look at the way we design and build the places where we live and work. Today, Abi Gardner, a graduate placement working with our Placemaking team, tells us about a recent Future Planning Conference she attended in Glasgow.

Extreme weather events such as heavy rain and heatwaves are becoming more frequent. Research shows that being in nature is good for your health and well-being making you more relaxed and increasing concentration and motivation. Wildlife, such as pollinators, need urban green spaces to live and thrive. To ensure our urban areas are sustainable, resilient and nice places to be, we must work together to integrate nature-based solutions and green infrastructure into our towns and cities.

Nature-based solutions use nature to address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, providing benefits to both human well-being and biodiversity. In our towns and cities, nature-based solutions are often delivered through green infrastructure. This includes having more street trees and rain gardens to help prevent flooding and to cool places down during heatwaves. It also includes wildflower verges and green roofs to help pollinators move around. It includes green networks to enable people to walk and cycle to work and green spaces to spend time relaxing, exercising or playing in nature.

Green infrastructure at Strathclyde University_JPEG Image Original Size_m183822
Green infrastructure at Strathclyde University, Glasgow. ©SNH

During Scotland’s Climate Week earlier this year, planners, developers and green infrastructure experts across industry and Scotland’s Key Agencies Group came together in Glasgow to discuss how to better design places as we mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Organised by our very own Green Infrastructure Fund, along with partners at the Ecosystem Knowledge Network, the day saw lots of motivating and proactive discussions. These included examples of successful green infrastructure projects from across Europe, partnerships showcasing exciting place-based projects across Scotland, as well as lots of conversations about how we can do more to make sure places benefit both people and nature.

Future Planning: Designing places in a Climate Emergency Conference.  ©SNH

With more collaboration among all stakeholders, the place-making process can more effectively use nature-based solutions to ensure places are resilient to extreme weather events and help wildlife, as well as creating healthy and thriving communities for those that live and work there.

Want to find out more?

To see more in-depth interviews with some of the key contributors of the event head over to the Future Planning conference website.

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