Building infrastructure in the age of climate crisis
Issue 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2020
DESIGN TANK PHOTO IVAN BRODY
Code Design: Johan Verde & Hong Ngo-Aandal
Building infrastructure in the age of climate crisis
Darkhorse Design Ltd T (0)20 7323 1931 darkhorsedesign.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL ADVISORY PANEL Amanda McDermott CMLI, Landscape Architect, 2B Landscape Consultancy Ltd. Peter Sheard CMLI, Landscape Architect. John Stuart-Murray FLI, Landscape Architect. Jo Watkins PPLI, Landscape Architect. Jenifer White CMLI, National Landscape Adviser, Historic England. Rosie Wicheloe, Landscape Ecologist, London Wildlife Trust. Holly Birtles CMLI, Associate Landscape Architect B|D. Jaideep Warya CMLI, Landscape Architect,The Landscape Partnership. LANDSCAPE INSTITUTE Commissioning Editor: Paul Lincoln, Executive Director Creative Projects and Publishing email@example.com Copy Editor: Jill White President: Adam White CEO: Daniel Cook Landscapeinstitute.org @talklandscape landscapeinstitute landscapeinstituteUK Advertise in Landscape Contact Saskia Little, Business Development Manager 0330 808 2230 Ext 030 Saskia.Little@landscapeinstitute.org
Landscape is printed on paper sourced from EMAS (Environmental Management and Audit Scheme) certified manufacturers to ensure responsible printing. The views expressed in this journal are those of the contributors and advertisers and not necessarily those of the Landscape Institute, Darkhorse or the Editorial Advisory Panel. While every effort has been made to check the accuracy and validity of the information given in this publication, neither the Institute nor the Publisher accept any responsibility for the subsequent use of this information, for any errors or omissions that it may contain, or for any misunderstandings arising from it.
Landscape is the official journal of the Landscape Institute, ISSN: 1742–2914 © 2020 Landscape Institute. Landscape is published four times a year by Darkhorse Design.
On 27 February plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport were ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal, on the grounds that ministers did not adequately take into account the government’s commitments to reduce carbon emissions. The Court’s decision is the first major ruling in the world to be based on the Paris Agreement on climate change1. A few days after this decision, Guardian columnist George Monbiot announced his intention to pursue a similar claim2 by challenging the UK government’s policy for approving new energy projects. Publication of the government’s new road investment strategy has now been ‘put on hold’ following the Court of Appeal judgment3. These actions are taking place against the backdrop of government announcements to invest significantly in new infrastructure. This is an important time to consider infrastructure in a landscape context. Manchester School of Architecture honours the greats of the profession who focus on the landscape of power and of highways [p6] Hamish Stewart brings this work up to date by looking at the benefits of car-free cities ; Elizabeth Reynolds
explores underground infrastructure [p39]; Ian Houlston and Stephen Carter address the importance of responding to both time and history [p24] whilst Eugenio da Rin and Josine Lambert consider the ways in which mountainous regions can address water management and land ownership [p29]. Our commitment to focusing on climate emergency continues with an update by Brian Evans on the plans that are being made in Glasgow in preparation for COP26 [p20]. We report on the work of the Landscape Institute climate panel [p69]; we publish the second of our regular columns of practical advice from Claire Thirlwell [p41]; and Amanda Merrell explores the relevance to the profession of the internet of things [p35]. In our infrastructure showcase, practitioners explain the ways in which their work addresses the climate emergency. In light of the current COVID-19 emergency, please have a look at some of the video material now available on the new LI Campus online platform. Paul Lincoln Commissioning Editor
The central aim of the Paris Agreement is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 1
Major reports on infrastructure New reports on infrastructure from the UK and Scottish governments
Phase 1: Key findings report
Infrastructure in context
OECD investment comparisons
The Ground We Stand On
Why the landscapes of post-war infrastructure matter Manchester School of Architecture investigates post-war infrastructure
The Riparian LandShaping Machine New research proposes improvements to current models of water management and land ownership
FEATURES &ŝŐƵƌĞ ϭϯϳ͘ WŚǇƐŝĐĂů ŵŽĚĞů ŽĨ ƚŚĞ ZŝƉĂƌŝĂŶ >ĂŶĚͲ^ŚĂƉŝŶŐ DĂĐŚŝŶĞ͘
‘the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started...’ CLIMATE EMERGENCY
Glasgow 2020 – a fair COP?
A matter of time
Traffic removal and land value capture
Stating the case for why every site can respond to the local context and express our cultural heritage
As many key cities go car-free, the value of the land could be released for the common good
The internet of things
Glasgow City Urbanist Brian Evans sets the scene for this year’s COP26 meeting
Can we make a technology which is revolutionising the luxury goods industry relevant to landscape architecture?
Landscape architects at the heart of devolution in the West Midlands
Landscape spaces are often placed above buried infrastructure – can they be integrated?
Tools and guidance for landscape practitioners
Environment Bill returns
Climate change resources – large scale infrastructure
The Agriculture Bill and its impact on the environment
Get involved in the new initiative aiming to breathe life back into England’s high streets LI LIFE
Eight case studies in our infrastructure showcase
A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down
Resilient South City
A27 Arundel Bypass
Central London Streets: Places for People
A465 Heads of the Valleys Dualling Section 3
Procurement of plants for HS2
LI Campus – Learn from anywhere
Climate emergency update
Sylvia Crowe celebrated in the Cumberland Basin 5
New guidance on largescale infrastructure
RESEARCH By Dr Luca Csepely-Knorr, Dr Richard Brook and Dr Laura Coucill
Why the landscapes of post-war infrastructure matter
Manchester School of Architecture has been researching, analysing and teaching about the landscapes and architecture of post-war infrastructure
nfrastructure is popularly conceived as a form of material production assigned to technological advancement. However, it is not exclusively a technocentric endeavour, it is constituted by built artefacts designed through collaboration by those with more than simply an interest in its engineering. Infrastructure has the capacity to reveal much about the society in which it was produced – the political economy of infrastructure; the sociocultural effects of infrastructure; the formal and visual impact of
infrastructure and attitudes to its celebration or containment. Rebuilding after 1945 was characterised by numerous large-scale infrastructural schemes, including electrical power generation, water infrastructure and the improved transportation delivered by new motorways. The scale of this development that transformed the perceptibly rural landscapes of Britain, was comparable to the changes caused by the Industrial Revolution. As Sylvia Crowe phrased it the landscape of Britain faced the “greatest crisis of its history”, and
this necessitated a novel approach to design and implementation and a new collaborative practice between architecture, landscape architecture, engineering and planning professionals.1 The profession of landscape architecture experienced a major shift in the UK after the WW2, in both the complexity and scale of projects. As Crowe claimed, “Before the war landscape design was confined almost entirely to the creation of gardens and parks; even if some industry called in a landscape architect it was
1. Scammonden, the world’s first dam motorway hybrid. Landscape design by J. B Blainey. © Richard Brook, 2018)
2. Eggborough power station. Landscape architects: Brenda Colvin & Hal Moggridge. © Luca Csepely-Knorr, 2018)
3. Sylvia Crowe: The Landscape of Roads. Published by the Architectural Press in 1960.
4. Sylvia Crowe: The Landscape of Power. Published by the Architectural Press in 1958.
5. The Industry & Landscape Exhibition organised by the Institute of Landscape Architects. Journal of the Institute of Landscape Architects, no 68, November 1964. P. 15.
Crowe, S. (1958) Landscape of Power, London: Architectural Press. p.10. 1
Crowe, S Buckingham Talk, unpublished. MERL AR CRO SP4/2. what year? 2
Goulty, G. (1986) Landscape Electric, Landscape Design, August 1986, pp.3437: 3
Aldous, T. & Clouston, B. (1979) Landscape by Design London: William Heinemann Ltd. p.79. 4
Colvin, B. (1970) Land and Landscape. London: John Murray, 344. 5
CEGB: Power and the Countryside. CEGB London: 1965 6
with the idea of creating a garden round their buildings. […] Gradually this is changing: the pressure of population, transport and economics is upsetting the balance of great areas of landscape, and it is evident that positive design is needed to restore them to a state of balance.”2 This shift from garden design to landscape planning and from the idea of creating a ‘garden round the buildings’ to designing large scale landscapes that accommodated complex new structures, typologies and activities created new challenges and placed the profession of landscape architecture at the forefront of the evolving field of infrastructural design. The creation of landscapes around post-war power stations was informed by Section 37 of the Electricity Act (1957), later dubbed the ‘Amenity Clause’. It required the minimisation of the impact of generating and transmission sites on scenery, flora and fauna, by creating aesthetic value as well ecologically important assets, and resulted in the appointment of landscape architects on new power station projects. In the same period the ‘public relation value’ of the landscapes of power stations became a crucial part of government policy that safeguarded the needs of communities and added another layer of cultural value to these landscapes.3 (1) In 1961, Michael Porter was appointed as the first Landscape Advisor to the Ministry of Transport. (2) The 1973 Water Act also created a duty to promote ‘amenity’ by the Regional Water Authorities.4 Exhibitions and publications of the period, such as a series of articles in the Journal of the Institute of Landscape Architects and, most notably, Sylvia Crowe’s books ‘The Landscape of Power’ (1958) and ‘The Landscape of Roads’ (1960) and the ‘Industry and Landscape’ Exhibition in 1964 showed the eminence of the question to the professional discourses in the field of landscape architecture. (3-5) In addition, they highlighted the prominent role that landscape architecture played in helping to ameliorate the public’s perception of infrastructural developments.4 This new aspect of the profession was
clearly recognised by Brenda Colvin, when she wrote that “..our power stations, oil refineries, factories and water-works must take their place, in time, with the pyramids, castles and temples of the past”.5 The idea of the infrastructural and industrial landscapes as iconic undertakings of the period was reinforced by distinguished planner and founding member of the Institute of Landscape Architects, Lord Holford, when he positioned the work of the Central
Electricity Generating Board as “the modern patron of landscaping art” and explained that “..the great landowners of the eighteenth century employed the founders of the profession, William Kent, Capability Brown, Humphrey Repton and their followers. Today the Generating Board engage practising landscape architects of the first rank and a new philosophy of landscape design is emerging, often experimental, sometimes inspired but always seeking a solution to complex problems”.6 7
The Landscape and Architecture of Post-War Infrastructure Research Centre The exemplary approach toward the landscapes of infrastructure left us with a rich and particularly valuable designed landscape heritage that is, however, often undervalued and overlooked. Today, when the decommissioning of coal-fired and nuclear power stations is underway, and peri-urban sites which are hosts to multiple forms of infrastructure are under development pressure, the urgency of understanding, mapping and protecting such land assets needs new frameworks and clear methodologies for decisionmakers.7 In February 2019, the Manchester School of Architecture hosted a two-day international workshop and conference funded by the Paul Mellon Centre on the ‘Landscape and Architecture of Post-War British Infrastructure’. These events brought together academics from a broad range of academic disciplines and, through its two keynote lectures by Elaine Harwood (Historic England) and Hal Moggridge (PPLI), aimed to compare the views of the historian with the direct experience of the designer.8 The conclusion of the conference and the workshop highlighted the necessity of investigating the landscapes of infrastructure for several reasons. The apparent invisibility of landscape design in mature settings means that sites are being redeveloped, or lost, before their values are assessed and understood. The next steps of the research will be delivered during the next two years, in two major research projects funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of their special call for ‘Landscape Decisions: Towards a new framework for using land assets’ programme.9 The project is particularly concerned with the temporal aspects of landscape and the relationships between designed space and its assimilation with perceptibly natural and traditionally agricultural landscapes. It aims to understand how time and use can interact with 8
landscape to create cultural and amenity value as well as valuable ecologies; the way in which policy helped to foster such conditions, and the influence of current policy on the management and development of these landscapes. It will investigate how artistic and creative responses to the landscapes of infrastructure can help to narrate their cultural worth, and will develop means of understanding of their seemingly intangible values by comparing and combining research methods in the arts and humanities. Project Partners include Historic England, The Gardens Trust, the Landscape Institute, Highways England, Natural England, International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), Friends of the Landscape Library and Archives at Reading (FOLAR) and the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL).
Research-led teaching at the Manchester School of Architecture As part of the larger research project, Dr Laura Coucill and Dr Luca Csepely-Knorr coordinate the Arch. Land.Infra Research Methods unit for postgraduate students of the Manchester School of Architecture. The overarching aim of the Research Methods unit is to introduce a range of approaches for understanding, interrogating and researching the built environment. Within this framework, Arch.Land.Infra focuses on the post-war (1945-1980) histories of the various intersections between architecture and landscape architecture and capitalises on the opportunities research-based and research-tutored pedagogy offers. Through archival research, combined with design analysis techniques, the output of Arch.Land.Infra included a series of four detailed case studies of UK Power Stations designed in between 1950 – 1970 by key architects and landscape architects. (6) Case studies and accompanying models were exhibited during the workshop and conference on the ‘Landscape and Architecture of Post-War British Infrastructure’. The case studies were: Didcot A (1965-1968, architect and landscape
architect Sir Frederick Gibberd), Rugeley B (1964-1972, architects L K Watson and H J Coates, landscape architect Brenda Colvin), West Burton (1961-1967, architect Architects’ Design Group – John Gelsthorpe, landscape architect Derek Lovejoy) and Trawsfynydd (1959-1965, architect Sir Basil Spence, landscape architect Dame Sylvia Crowe). Students benefited from archival and exhibition workshops and talks, in addition to an in-depth interview with Hal Moggridge about his experience in designing and delivering plans for large-scale infrastructural landscapes; offering first-hand experience of core research methods and the opportunity to engage with external partners in a professional working context. Students worked directly with the Gibberd Archives in Harlow and the Landscape Institute Archives at MERL, documenting and analysing archival resources. Analysis took creative forms and built on representational and design skills to articulate research findings through diagrams, maps, drawings and models.
6. Case study locations. Drawing by Arch.Land.Infra Research Methods students at the Manchester School of Architecture.
This urgency is underlined campaign by Historic England and The Gardens Trust. https://historicengland. org.uk/listing/apply-forlisting/listing-priorities/ modern-gardenslandscapes/ 7
For conference abstracts see: www. postwarinfrastructure. org 8
https://nerc.ukri. org/research/funded/ programmes/ landscape/#xcollapse4 9
7. West Burton today. © Arch.Land.Infra West Burton Group, 2018
8. The Trent Valley Energy Plan. Drawing by Arch.Land.Infra West Burton Group, 2018
9. Comparison of original design aims with current situation. Drawings (based on Lovejoy’s drawings from 1965 and 1973) and photos by Arch.Land.Infra West Burton Group, 2019
West Burton (by Thomas Brunyard, Sahachai Kumalwisai, Tillman Pospischil and Annette Sibthorp)
10. Rugeley in 2018. © Arch.Land.Infra Rugeley Group, 2019
11. Diagrams describing “Macro” and “Panoramic” strategies by Colvin. Analysis and diagrams by Arch. Land.Infra Rugeley Group, 2019
West Burton power station was the first of CEGB’s new generation of power stations based on the 500 MW turbo-generator, as part of the Trent Valley System of power stations. (9) Landscape architect Derek Lovejoy was involved in creating a landscape plan of the whole valley, also known as ‘Megawatt Valley’,
(by Jessica Abbott, Florence Booth, Elly Mead and Kelvin Pang)
The landscape of Rugeley power station was Brenda Colvin’s fourth landscape for a coal-fired power station and therefore can be seen as a summary of her approach to this particular type of design problem (10). Rugeley ‘A’ was completed in 1963 and Rugeley ‘B’ was opened in 1972.
before designing the grounds of West Burton from 1961 (7). Lovejoy’s thorough understanding of the larger, predominantly flat agricultural landscape setting meant that his plans for the area of a three-mile radius around the power station were realistic, not trying to obscure the many views of the station, but instead control them with tactical treeplanting and screening in and around the station’s site. Lovejoy aimed to retain the open character of the landscape, with the overall aim to frame and contain the building and structures. The landscape 9 was created by new and reinforced existing hedgerow planting and extensive tree planting. The current state of the key views created by Lovejoy were
examined in the case study through photographic analysis. This highlighted key developments, resulting mostly from the changing ownership of the landscape where land was not owned by the CEGB, or after privatisation by the energy companies. The maintenance of planting and the original concept has significantly faded. The changing landscapes around West Burton and its approaching decommissioning poses several questions about the future of these carefully designed landscapes. (8)
The power station ran on full capacity until 1994, when Rugeley A was first decommissioned and subsequently demolished in 1995. The analysis of a large number of plans, reports and letters by Colvin, held at the Landscape Institute Archives at MERL, identified key strategies explaining how Colvin dealt with the landscape (11). On a macro level, an area (to which Colvin referred as a zone of simplicity) was created between the monumental structure of the cooling towers and any human scale activity:
this aimed to prevent the structure from psychologically dwarfing the landscape composition. She recognised that massed planting of trees or shrubs can give a firm horizontal baseline and screen the inevitable clutter that accumulates on the ground around the buildings. Ground Sculpting together with the mass planting of trees allowed the
reduction of the visual impact of the cooling towers when seen from the outskirts of Rugeley. Panoramic strategies could be considered as one of the most important aspects of the design, given that cooling towers can be seen from 50 km away. At Rugeley two of the four towers were coloured to a pinkish red tone, to contrast with their neighbours and to prevent the cluster visually coalescing in conditions of haze or mist, which would have increased their visual bulk. The notion of confining buildings was championed by both Sylvia Crowe and Brenda Colvin: they thought that “a thorough land survey would reveal
in every case a natural boundary line which could mark the transition from industry to wild landscape”.10 This helped in creating a more interlocking arrangement of landscape forms. Natural forms and other infrastructural elements, such as roads or railways were used by Colvin as barriers, to reduce the need for security fences and prevent signs of enclosures. Where necessary, fences were hidden, as such evident signs of enclosures would otherwise break the rhythm of the landscape and harm the rural character. (12). Colvin’s landscape at Rugeley was developed even after completion: in 1986 a nature study centre was
associated with the south-east end of the site, this allowed the public to use the thoroughly designed landscape for leisure purposes: something that characterised all of Colvin’s designs. In 2010 a residential estate was built on the site and in 2011 Amazon opened its 700,000 sg ft warehouse on the old colliery site. In 2016 Rugeley B was closed. The landscape designed by Colvin has significantly altered.
12. Rugeley power station in 1975. Model by Arch.Land.Infra Rugeley Group, 2019
13. Trawsfynydd in 2013. © Laura Coucill
14. Comparison of drawings from the 1956 landscape report by Crowe with the current conditions using Crowe’s drawing style. Arch.Land.Infra Trawsfynydd Group, 2019
15. Analysis of Basil Spence’s and Sylvia Crowe’s drawing techniques, based on archival materials held in MERL and the Basil Spence Archives. The final sketch combines the two drawings to depict the architecture and landscape together. Drawings by Arch.Land.Infra Trawsfynydd Group, 2019
16. 3D printed model of Trawsfynydd nuclear power station.
Arch.Land.Infra Trawsfynydd Group, 2019.
(Ziwen Cai, Karolina Dudek, Erin Edmondson, Olivia Marshall, Ben Miller)
The only nuclear power station among the case studies, Trawsfynydd in Snowdonia National Park in Wales was the first inland nuclear power station, constructed by CEGB in 1965. The project built on the expertise of renowned designers Dame Sylvia Crowe and Sir Basil Spence (13). Based on archival materials from the National Archives, Welsh National Library, Landscape Institute Archives at MERL, Basil Spence Archive and the RIBA Library, the case study aimed to analyse and understand the nature of the design methodology of the landscape and architectural collaborative design process. Furthermore, the drawings and physical models demonstrated the relationship between the architectural 10
design and the existing and proposed landscape of Snowdonia National Park. By using analytical drawing methodologies, the case studies uncovered the collaborative approach of the designers and how Crowe’s approach influenced both the visual appearance and architectural design of Spence and vice versa, which resulted in an exemplary project. Combining the drawings of the two designers, both in terms of drawing style and content, created exciting representations of this collaboration (15). By recreating Crowe’s drawings and adding the layer of landscape change to it, the work analysed how the intended strategies defined by Crowe as ‘Design Actions’ worked in a matured landscape setting 45 years after it was designed (14). The decommissioning of Trawsfynydd began in 1991, with the power station closing in 1993. The landscape of Trawsfynydd became Grade 2* listed in the Register of Landscapes, Parks and Gardens of
Special Historic Interest in Wales. (16) In 2011 the Twentieth Century Society unsuccessfully campaigned for the building to become listed. The decommissioning process is expected to be completed by 2083, but the exact future of the complex and the landscape is still unsure.
Crowe, S (1958) The Landscape of Power London: Architectural Press. 50. 10
17. Didcot power station in late 2018. © David Jeffrey Wilkinson
18. Design development diagrams based on Gibberd’s drawings. Redrawn by Arch.Land.Infra Didcot Group, 2019
19. Interactive model showing the design development and final layout.
(by Abbas Afsar, Connor Forecast, Caterina Emma Pini, David Wilkinson, George Sims)
Arch.Land.Infra Didcot Group, 2019
decisions especially in the field of landscape architecture in case of largescale infrastructural designs. The analysis of Gibberd’s design process through a set of diagrams and an interactive physical model uncovered how the final design – with special emphasis on the siting of cooling towers in relation to the landscape design – evolved through testing and modelling (18 & 19). Understanding the stages of the design process and the decisions uncovered how Gibberd aimed to reduce the impact of the power station on the surrounding landscape by keeping the cooling towers down to a height of 325 ft and distributing them in two groups of three. Didcot and the landscapes around it had much publicity, being featured
in the Architectural Review and winning the 1968 Civic Trust Award, demonstrating the importance of infrastructural projects during that period. As well as Gibberd’s own accounts about his work, the design was reviewed by the leading designer of coal-fired power stations of the time, Brenda Colvin, in the same journal. The comparison of Gibberd’s design with Colvin’s design for Rugeley and the analysis of Colvin’s criticism, revealed contrasting approaches to how to balance large industrial objects with the surrounding landscape: while Colvin recommended “a sinuous flow of vegetation”, Gibberd opted for a more geometrical approach when choosing rectangular groups of trees for both screening and opening up preferred views.11
Colvin, B. (1974) ‘Power Station, Didcot, Berkshire. Criticism by Brenda Colvin’ The Architectural Review, 930, 92. 11
https://www. topuniversities.com/ university-rankings/ university-subjectrankings/2019/ architecture ; CsepelyKnorr, L. (2019) ‘‘To Broaden the Outlook of Training’. The first landscape course in Manchester, UK’’ Gao L & Egoz S (eds) (2019) Lessons From the Past, Visions for the Future. Celebrating One Hundred years of Landscape Architecture Education in Europe. As: Norwegian University of Life Sciences. pp 163-165.
The coal and gas fired power station, Didcot A, operated from 1968 to 2013 supplying an average capacity of 2000 MW, making it the second most powerful individual power station ever built in the UK. Commissioned by the CEGB and designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd, Didcot A embodied a bold attitude towards infrastructure in the post-war period. (17) On 18th August 2019 the last three remaining cooling towers were demolished, and the chimney was demolished on 9thFebruary 2020 reminding us that recording and analysing these sites while they are relatively intact is crucial and highly timely if we want to understand the effect of design
The School The Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) is a collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester, and has been ranked in the world’s top 10 architecture schools in the last 5 years, with a long history in teaching landscape architecture.12 Collaboration and multidisciplinary teaching remain core in the pedagogical methodology of MSA.
The School offers a variety of courses and elective units throughout its under- and postgraduate curriculum, and landscape architecture comprises a key part of this. Currently the School has a two-year, 300 credit programme in landscape architecture, accredited by the Landscape Institute and leading to an internationally recognised qualification. The Masters in Landscape Architecture places emphasis on an understanding of landscape as a dynamic and adaptive
phenomenon. Projects promote a focus on the interfaces between the landscape as a human, cultural construct and as a reflection of underlying natural and environmental processes. To strengthen the links between research and teaching, the School hosts two collaborative doctoral studentships in the field of landscape architecture, one with the Landscape Institute Scotland and one with Historic England.
BRIEFING By Paul Lincoln
Major reports on infrastructure Design principles for national infrastructure
climate people places value DESIGN PRINCIPLES FOR NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE COMMISSION Design Group
The UK’s first ever Design Principles for National Infrastructure1, developed by an expert Design Group (including Andrew Grant, Founder and Director of Grant Associates and Louise Wyman, Chartered Surveyor and Landscape Architect, Design Lead for the West Midlands Combined Authority), seek to embed four key considerations – climate, people, places and value – into the planning and delivery of projects to construct and renew nationally significant infrastructure:
– Climate – infrastructure must help set the trajectory for the UK to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner and be capable of adapting to climate change. – People – projects should be human scale, instinctive to use and seek opportunities to improve the quality of life for people who live and work nearby.
– Places – schemes should provide a sense of identity for communities, supporting the natural and built environment and enriching ecosystems. – Value – this should be added beyond the main purpose of the infrastructure, solving problems well and achieving multiple benefits. The Design Group argues that the legacy of infrastructure schemes
will be judged on how they succeed in responding creatively to the needs of climate change, the environment and communities. They are calling for the principles to be adopted in the government’s infrastructure strategy, alongside the National Infrastructure Assessment’s recommendations for all nationally significant projects to have design champions and review panels. The Design Principles for National Infrastructure are the first of their kind and can be applied to all economic infrastructure: digital communications, energy, transport, flood management, water and waste. The document is to be used as a guide by anyone involved in planning, constructing and maintaining national infrastructure.
Change in approach urged for Scotland’s infrastructure The Infrastructure Commission for Scotland2 (ICS) has presented Scottish Government with a 30‑year infrastructure strategy (Key Findings Report – A blueprint for Scotland) with an emphasis on delivering an inclusive, net zero carbon economy. The first publication of its kind in Scotland, the strategy follows a period of extensive engagement with key stakeholders and organisations from across Scotland and beyond. It sets out eight overarching themes and 23 specific recommendations for Scottish Government to consider. The themes are: Phase 1: Key findings report JANUARY 2020
1. Future infrastructure decisions to be based on delivery of an inclusive net zero carbon economy 2. Increased emphasis on “placebased” infrastructure 3. Maximise, broaden the use of and better maintain existing assets 4. Accelerate the decarbonisation of heat and transport 5. Develop appropriately devolved regulatory and pricing frameworks 6. Escalate and expand access to
digital and technology services 7. Improve and extend public engagement to shape decision making 8. Explore options for long-term and independent infrastructure advice. The global focus on climate change, together with Scottish Government’s own Net Zero Carbon target by 2045, has influenced the work of the ICS in the development of this 30-year strategy. The next stage of the ICS’ 18-month programme will see the Commission provide guidance to Scottish Government on how best to consider the 23 recommendations set out in the strategy.
https://www.nic.org. uk/publications/designprinciples-for-nationalinfrastructure/ 1
https://infrastructure commission.scot/ 2
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UK infrastructure investment in context Infrastructure investment in OECD countries % of GDP Australia Austria Belgium Canada Czech Republic Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Italy Japan Mexico New Zealand Norway Poland Slovak Republic Spain Sweden Turkey Great Britain USA Estonia Latvia Lithuania Slovenia
Infrastructure investment covers spending on new transport construction and the improvement of the existing network. Infrastructure investment is a key determinant of performance in the transport sector. Inland infrastructure includes road, rail, inland waterways, maritime ports and airports and takes account of all sources of financing. Efficient transport infrastructure provides economic and social benefits to both advanced and emerging economies by: improving market accessibility and productivity, ensuring balanced regional economic development, creating employment, promoting labour mobility and connecting communities. This indicator is measured as a share of GDP for total inland investment and in euros for the road, rail, air, inland waterways and sea components. OECD data for 2016 or 2017 whichever is the most up to date.
https://data.oecd. org/transport/ infrastructureinvestment.htm
Current and future investment in the UK © Crown copyright 2018 Reproduced from the Analysis of the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority
Investment in the pipeline beyond 2020/21 by sector Social infrastructure Science and research Flood and coastal erosion
Transport Energy Utilities
£6.3bn £1.0bn £0.5bn £68bn
‘National Infrastructure Delivery Plan Funding and Finance Supplement’, Infrastructure and ProjectsAuthority, 2016
The Analysis of the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline was published by the Government in November 2018. According to its authors, the Pipeline is the single source of the UK’s planned infrastructure investment to 2021 and beyond. The pipeline includes nearly 700 projects, programmes and other investments, and a projection of infrastructure investment over the next 10 years of over £600 billion. The graphs on this and followng pages are extracted from the publication and offer an overview of investment in infastructure ahead of the decisions by the new Government to give the go-ahead to HS2 and related transport schemes.
Investment in the pipeline 2018/19 to 2020/21 by sector (£bn) 2018/19
https://www.gov. uk/government/ publications/ national-infrastructureand-constructionpipeline-2018. For all tables in the document, figures for individual columns may not add up to figures in total column due torounding. The control period for water investment, AMP 6, ends in 2019/20 after which AMP 7 will be set.
Science and research
Flood and coastal erosion
Recently delivered projects and programmes This map sets out a selection of projects and programmes recently completed across English regions.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – The majority of infrastructure investment is devolved to each administration, but the pipeline includes a range of investments in non-devolved sectors
Northern Powerhouse – Manchester Smart Motorways M60 J8 to M62 J20 – Proton Beam Therapy centre at Christie Hospital Manchester – £34 million Warrington flood defence scheme
East of England – Broadland Northway (Norwich Northern Distributor Road) – Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre in Stevenage – Dudgeon offshore wind farm
Midlands Engine – Nottingham Ring Road – M5 J4a to J6 Smart Motorway – Selly Park South flood alleviation scheme
South West – Bath Transportation package – A30 Temple to Carblake improvement – Cannington flood alleviation scheme
South East and London – London Power Tunnels phase 1 – Sibson Building: new home for the School of Mathematics and the School of Business at the University of Kent – Portsmouth International Port’s new £9m linkspan, speeding up disembarkation
Devolved infrastructure investment The pipeline contains projects and programmes distributed across the UK but the majority of the value of the pipeline relates to spending in England. This is because most infrastructure spending in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is the responsibility of each devolved administration, and therefore is not included in this pipeline. The split between the responsibility of the UK government and each of the devolved administrations for infrastructure policy and funding varies according to the distinct devolution settlement in place, as set out below. Each devolved administration produces its own infrastructure plan setting out spending in economic infrastructure. Sector
The Scottish government is responsible for internal services. The UK government is responsible for crossborder daytime services
Devolved responsibility. The regulation of air services is a reserved matter
Devolved responsibility, with some minor exceptions
Devolved responsibility, with some minor exceptions
Transport investment from 2018/19 to 2020/21 split by sub-sector (£bn) £18.4
2020/21 £0 Rail
£5 High Speed Rail
Local Authority Transport
Transport for London
Utilities investment from 2018/19 to 2020/21 split by sub-sector (£bn) 2018/19
Water and Sewage
Energy investment from 2018/19 to 2020/21 split by sub-sector (£bn) £15.5
Oil and Gas
Waste to Energy Projects
Flood and coastal erosion investment from 2018/19 to 2020/21 (£bn) £0.6
2020/21 £0.0 Flood
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C L I M AT E E M E R G E N C Y By Brian Evans
Glasgow 2020 – a fair COP?
The next United Nations climate change summit will take place in Glasgow this November. COP26 will see up to 30,000 delegates attend the event. Glasgow’s City Urbanist, Brian Evans outlines the challenges and opportunities for the profession and argues for leadership and a designed response in tackling climate emergency.
efore we can build the city of the future, we must first imagine it”. This is a starting point most designers would endorse. Unfortunately, as John Higgs later elaborates in his book “The future starts here: Adventures in the twenty-first century”, the future we are imagining is a dystopian vision 20
of wanton ecological destruction, alarming extinction of species, uncontrolled global heating and failing political and economic systems.1 To rational believers the science is undeniable. However, stated as bald facts and when accompanied by programmes of draconian countermeasures, this approach
is terrifying people into a fatalism that encourages enjoyment today, because the future is doomed, whilst simultaneously living in a state of high anxiety about the viability of future generations and the planet’s ability to sustain the human species. The message is clearly correct, but the messaging is failing and robbing
1. Glasgow, host city for COP26 2020, view north towards Ben Lomond. The Clyde Campus which will become UN territory for the duration of COP26 is shown centre/left – source Collective Commons License
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2. The cocktail of international trends – source: “Scotland’s Urban AGE”, Evans et al, Glasgow Urban Laboratory, 2018
We must grasp the opportunity that COP presents to showcase city, national and state leadership.
ordinary people of hope. This provides an easy position to sew doubt and peddle false optimism as evidenced by the US Government’s stance at the recent World Economic Forum in January this year. We are now deep into what Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen entitled the Anthropocene, a new geo-historical era when humanity has become a major geological and geobiological factor influencing the Earth.2 The United Nations predicts that world population will reach 10 billion by 2050 and, although slowing down due to female emancipation, technological advance and development convergence, will move towards 11 billion by 2100.3 For some time, received wisdom has held that in this, the century of the city, when urban population exceeded rural for the first time, we might accommodate our greater numbers in compact resilient, competitive cities.4 As Ed Glaeser dryly suggested, it is possible to accommodate the current world population in one city the size of Texas together with all necessary infrastructure and amenities.5 Cities, we believed, would save the world. It is true that cities and humane ecological urbanisation are our best hope of accommodating many more people. But the challenge is not simply a matter of space. Humanity is swarming the earth. We are exhorted to eat less meat, fly less, give up plastic and recycle and upcycle. Of course, every little helps and we should certainly all ‘think global and act local’,6 but the truth is, that unless billions of us make these changes, we will fall short. Widespread acceptance by governments and major corporations leading to systemic international change building on individual behaviour is needed. New research evidence suggests that far from accommodating 10 billion, 3 billion is a much more likely figure for future equilibrium.7 Climate Change and ecophilic integrity are not, however, the only challenges we face. Recent research for UN-Habitat identified a number of trends in addition to climate change that affect all the countries in the area of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
(whose member states extend across the globe from Vancouver to Vladivostok) namely Ageing, Low Fertility, Migration, Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) 8. This cocktail of climatic, demographic and technological change encapsulates the spirit of our times … our zeitgeist. They are the international and remorseless forces of globalisation and they interact with one another. This interaction can, without intervention, become toxic for countries, cities and communities. Fortunately, there are also opportunities, and with enlightened leadership and pragmatic management, the combined effects can be made more benign, if not beneficial. This however requires vision, clarity, skill, transparency and a degree of political courage to face down the hypocrisy and dissimulation pedalled by many commentators. The combination of the jet age and the net age has compounded urban concentration. The predicted death of distance whereby the entrepreneurial class takes off to the islands to telework over fibre broadband has proved to be a myth.9 Certainly there are those who desire remoteness,
but they are comprehensively outnumbered by those who seek the face-to-face buzz of the city with a centripetal effect of urban concentration in cities across the global north.10 To explain the phenomenon, the UN devised the concept of supercity – clusters of competitive cities of some 50 million population that combine to compete with the megacities of the global east and south and ask whether the UK and Ireland are a such a supercity system. Management and intervention in these trends is necessary, as is recognition of the consequences described above, but these are not sufficient. To harness the effects of these forces in a benign manner requires vision, leadership and a designed response. National objectives, performance frameworks and indicators together with national outcomes are all very important. It is important to measure things. However, it will take international consensus-building and a designed response, a plan, to bring about change. Adoption of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) formulated after the Paris Agreement of 2015 is a good place to
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start and UN-Habitat has highlighted how national urban policy can be dovetailed with the SDG targets. The recent drive to community activation and engagement is welcome – essential in fact. The roll out of charrette-based activity is beneficial in assisting communities (and those who serve them) to understand and manage assets and to facilitate strategic change. The gulf between community activity and national planning is, however, too great and we need regional mechanisms for spatial mediation in the provision and delivery of infrastructure between community and nation. At the turn of the 21st century, Frank Arneil Walker wrote that designing for place demands an ability to reconcile the genius loci (the spirit of place) with the zeitgeist (the spirit of the times) – a simple, elegant concept to grasp, if a deal harder to describe, teach and practice.11 We must manage these international trends carefully and design intelligent responses or we will face attrition of what we hold dear. This then is the job of government, national and local, and it is the job of society at large and all of us as professionals. Later this year, the UK and Glasgow will host COP26.12 The 22
success of a COP event is dependent primarily on two distinct but interacting factors. The first, and most significant, concerns the ability of the host Government and UNFCCC to set an agenda that is sufficiently challenging to satisfy countries and parties who wish to formulate aggressive action in support of ecological, environmental and climate priorities in such a way that minimises the opportunity for more ‘conservative’ countries and parties to veto the outcome. That is the main business of the international consultation that goes on in advance of the COP and the intensive –frequently sleepless – negotiations that run for the duration of the event often until, or beyond, the 11th hour of the final day. The second and principal supporting factor concerns the experience and acumen of the host city to stage an international event with the supercomplexity of handling international leaders, protagonists, activists, protestors and press in such a way that everyone has a ‘voice’ and all passes off peacefully with a secure ‘campus’ for the event itself and ample opportunity elsewhere for ‘pop-up’ festivals and protests. Glasgow has a fine pedigree in this field with numerous successful international exhibitions, gardens festivals and
international sporting events and games, but the City, its authorities and the UK and Scottish Governments are in no doubt that COP elevates to a new level the necessary skill and the scrutiny that comes with it. If this was not enough, there is the alchemy of what takes place internationally in what Harold Macmillan allegedly described as ‘Events, dear boy. Events’. It is no mean challenge to host Government and City to bring off a successful COP. Just as well perhaps that Glasgow understands the significance of once having been ‘No Mean City’.13 What are our cities and design professions to contribute? Glasgow and Edinburgh have entered into sibling rivalry to become carbon neutral by 2030 to emulate Copenhagen, our latitudinal role model, now joined by London and others in a call for a ‘UK Green New Deal’. Will the cities succeed in this transition? For the city I call home, I am optimistic. For all of my professional working life, Glasgow has faced near existential challenges. Bolstered by the humour and resilience of its quick, keen people, successive generations of leadership and professionals have dug in, have brought the best and the brightest to town and suffused this with local talent and determination. Will the
3. National Urban Policy & SDG Targets – source: UN-Habitat, Nairobi, 2018
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4. Supercity UK/ Ireland – source: “Scotland’s Urban AGE”, Evans et al, Glasgow Urban Laboratory, 2018 5. Design with Nature Now Cover. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
transition be made well? That is harder to call, and it is the job we all face over the next decade. We must grasp the opportunity that COP presents to showcase city, national and state leadership. And we need to do this in a prospective as well as reactive manner though leadership and design. In 2019, I had the opportunity to participate in ‘Design with Nature Now’, the international conference, exhibition and book developed by the University of Pennsylvania to mark the 50th anniversary of ‘Design
with Nature’ the masterwork of landscape architect and city planner Ian McHarg.14 I discussed McHarg and Scotland’s contribution to green consciousness. McHarg advocated ecological urbanism when it was a choice and before it became an imperative. His insight, leadership and determination were born of his upbringing in Glasgow where he was apprenticed to the landscape architects for the 1938 Empire Exhibition and attended the Glasgow School of Art before wartime service in the army
and post-war study at Harvard, where he qualified in city planning and landscape architecture. McHarg reviled what Glasgow had become by the 1950s but by the time he published his autobiography in 1996, he recognised the effort and the steps Glasgow had already made towards designing with nature.15 2020 is McHarg’s centenary and Glasgow plans to partner with the Landscape Institute, the McHarg Centre at University of Pennsylvania and others to bring the ‘Design with Nature Now’ exhibition to Glasgow for COP, to celebrate his message in his home town and to build a platform for landscape architects and planners throughout the UK and internationally in the period leading up to COP and at the event itself to formulate and deliver a message to world leaders concerning ecology, landscape planning, design and hope! Brian M Evans is Glasgow’s City Urbanist and professor of urbanism & landscape at the Glasgow School of Art.
“The Future Starts Here: Adventures in the twentyfirst century” John Higgs, 2019.
makes us richer, smarter, greener, healthier, and happier’, Edward L Glaeser, Macmillan, 2011.
“The theory of the Anthropocene is based on the assumption that, due to the effects of increased population and economic development on the global environment, humanity should be considered a major geological and geobiological factor on Earth.
World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2019 (Available at https://population.un.org/wpp/, accessed 16 January 2020). 3
See for example “Scotland’s Urban AGE, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh in the century of the city”, Evans et al (Available at https://www.burnesspaull. com/content/news/welcome-scotlands-urban-age, accessed on 08 January 2020). 4
‘The Triumph of the City: How our greatest invention
Apocryphal … possibly Patrick Geddes or Buckminster Fuller. A Planet of 3 Billion: Mapping Humanity's Long History of Ecological Destruction and Finding Our Way to a Resilient Future: A Global Citizen's Guide to Saving the Planet, Christopher K Tucker, 2019. 7
‘Towards a city-focused people-centred and integrated approach to the new urban agenda’, Evans et al, UN-Habitat, 2019. The Regional Report on the UNECE prepared for Habitat III, 2016. 8
The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution Is Changing Our Lives, Cairncross, F., The Economist, 1997. 9
“Scotland’s Urban AGE: Aberdeen, Glasgow &
Edinburgh in the century of the city”, Evans, B. Lord, J. Robertson, M., The Glasgow Urban Laboratory and Burness Paull, 2018. Grasping the Thistle, Walker, F.A. in Urban Identity: Leaning from Place II, Evans, B.M. Macdonald, F. and Rudlin, D. (editors), Routledge 2011. 11
Conference of the Parties, the United Nations Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC). 12
‘No Mean City’ the novel by H. Kingsley Long and Alexander McArthur and an account of life for the ‘hard men’ of Glasgow in the 1930s. 13
Design with Nature Now, Steiner, F. Weller, R. McCloskey, K. and Fleming, B. (editors), The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2019. See also ‘Design with Nature’, Roberts, A. LANDSCAPE, Issue 4 –2019. 14
‘A Quest for Life’, Ian L McHarg, 1996.
F E AT U R E By Ian Houlston and Stephen Carter 1. A recent housing audit found many developments which fail to respond to context, and have no character or sense of place. © Place Alliance
A matter of time England has a rich diversity of landscapes, each a record of how people have related to their environment over generations. But in too many places this diversity is being eroded with homogenous development, devoid of vibrancy or life. Ian Houlston and Dr Stephen Carter argue that every site can respond to the local context and express our cultural heritage. A tumbled country Interpreting the landscape is a science that emerged in the second half of the 20th century, starting with W. G. Hoskins’ groundbreaking The Making of the English Landscape1. Hoskins observed that there was not just one English landscape to explain “…but as wide a variety as could be found anywhere in the world…”2 adding that each landscape had its own character, 24
making England “…a tumbled country with few large tracts of sameness…”3. He reasoned that diversity arose from the fashioning of the local scene by men and women according to their needs. This was subsequently enshrined in the definition of landscape in the European Landscape Convention (2000). However, there is a growing threat to those landscapes. In his essay “Non-Places” on ‘supermodernity’4,
Marc Augé describes the alienating everywhere/nowhere spaces where the individual, like the space, is anonymous. His neologism ‘non-place’ perfectly describes the widespread, transactional urban and peri-urban landscapes of out of town shopping centres and business parks. Most significantly, it also describes ubiquitous new housing which may appear to offer the homes of our dreams, but proves an isolating and
W.G. Hoskins, (first published 1955) The Making of the English Landscape 1
W.G. Hoskins, (1973) English Landscapes 2
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2. Developments that respond well to local context are few and far between. Hannibal Road Gardens, Peter Barber’s award winning housing scheme in east London, borrowed its aesthetic from the neighbouring 1960s estate. It responds to the estate’s little rear gardens, rickety sheds and a patchwork of wooden fencing. © Morley von Sternberg
The research found that less affluent communities are ten times more likely to get worse design
unhealthy place to live. A recent national audit5 found that the design of new housing developments in England are overwhelmingly ‘mediocre’ or ‘poor’, and low-scoring schemes were especially weak in their architectural response to context. The authors reported that developments often have little distinguishing personality or sense of place, and that public realm and play spaces were poorly designed and badly located for social interaction. What is it like to live in a place like this, which shows the casual stamp of a corporate pattern book? People are denied the opportunity to develop a sense of belonging. A place is a location with a meaning: somewhere that has been colonised and shaped by people and their collective energy. When bad design prevents this from happening, health and wellbeing suffers. The research found that less affluent communities are ten times more likely to get worse design.
The flow of history We need to look for the root of the problem. It seems to lie with the process of planning and designing for change. Too often this is a shallow endeavour. Hoskins started to explore the depth of what is required to do a good job when he said that botany, physical geography, natural history and historical knowledge are all needed to understand any given scene.
The recent housing audit found that design outcomes scored progressively worse as projects reduced in density and moved away from an urban core which provides pre-existing context. In this situation, the task of rooting the project in an understanding of what people need, and responding to the specific social, environmental and economic context, may feel more challenging but it is no less essential, and just as exciting. So how should landscape architects and other professionals go about exploring the cultural heritage of an area, its archaeology,
to inform successful placemaking? First, consider time itself. Our actions and interventions are a part of, not outside, the flow of history. This is why archaeologist Graham Fairclough argued in a seminal paper6 that landscape architecture is strongest when design is informed by archaeological knowledge and theory. It is the way to arrive at a full understanding of the patterns, relationships, interactions and overall character that we see in today’s landscape. Fairclough, who worked for English Heritage for many years and is now at the McCord Centre for
Marc Augé, (1995) Non-Places, An Introduction to Supermodernity 4
Place Alliance, UCL and CPRE (2020), A Housing Design Audit for England 5
Graham Fairclough, A prospect of time: interactions between landscape architecture and archaeology. In: Bell, S., SarlovHerlin, I., Stiles, R (2011), ed. Exploring the boundaries of Landscape Architecture. Oxford, UK: Routledge, , (pp.83-114) 6
3. Fenland Parks mark the transition between Waterbeach New Town East and the wider setting. ©LDA Design
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Landscape at Newcastle University, provides a useful guide to some of the more important considerations: – Time in landscape: the extent to which today’s landscape is a patchwork and a distillation of all previous landscape and environments. – Human agency: the effect of human decision making, cultural processes and the side effects of human behaviour, actions, inactions and decisions through time and the overriding of environmental determinants. – Cause and effect: how one layer in the landscape through time is a response to previous layers of landscape and human actions and the frame for future landscape change. – Historical processes: the collective social, political, economic drivers, land use, religious processes and fashions that have shaped landscape. Thus, collaboration between landscape professionals and archaeologists is fundamental to success. It avoids ‘siloed working’ and the narrow confines imposed by a ‘constraints led’ approach by widening the scope of interest beyond designated ‘sites’ and ‘monuments’. Collaboration also informs a wider appreciation of how the past contributes to the character of a place and can inform decision making7. For development-led projects, the archaeologist often compiles information into a Desk-Based Assessment (DBA). This documents the nature, extent and significance of the historic environment8 and typically includes plans illustrating the distribution of heritage assets and relevant historic maps. The DBA will draw from the wealth of information available to interpret the cultural dimension of the landscape. Key sources include: – Historic Environment Records (HER) 9 which contain details of local archaeological sites and finds, historic buildings and historic landscapes. – Historic Landscape Characterisations (HLC) 10 which can reveal the connections within a landscape, spatially and through 26
time, for example in relation to buildings and patterns of fields, streets and routeways. – Urban Archaeological Databases (UADs) 11 and Extensive Urban Surveys (EUS) 12 which present assessments of a selection of towns and cities in England. In addition to these sources, the analysis of historic maps can reveal further patterns and features in the landscape that can inform how new development or change is planned and designed. For example, first and second edition Ordnance Survey maps may indicate that fruit orchards were once part of the local economy and could be reinstated as part of new development or proposals for green infrastructure. Regional and local accounts such as local history books, papers and guides can reveal traditions, customs, crafts and industries as well as associations with people and events in history that can add richness and depth to a design and guide the specification of materials. The Victoria County History series is particularly informative, especially the more recent volumes13. Place names14 can also be revealing – testifying to changes in patterns of settlement and population, as well as recording associations with important individuals, antiquities, religious beliefs, industries
and economies. In some cases the names of villages and towns record important topographic features or land uses, indicating relationships between settlements and landscape features that have been lost or which are hard to interpret from maps and documents. For example, the Old English element ‘lēah’ can indicate a settlement originated as a clearing in a woodland, which may suggest the area was at one time more wooded and inspire strategies for new native planting, perhaps to address flood risk, contribute to habitats and ecological networks and provide a setting for development.
4. The ancient Bannold Drove through Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, is being retained in Waterbeach New Town East. This 1810 map in the Victoria County History was used to plot its alignment. © University of London
Past, present and future in the Cambridgeshire Fens LDA Design and Headland Archaeology put the collaborative approach into practice in our work to support the planning and design of a new settlement at Waterbeach New Town East, north of Cambridge. The landscape and historic environment teams prepared a comprehensive appraisal of the complex of historic buildings and features at Denny Abbey and the contribution that the local landscape makes to its heritage significance. The Abbey was founded as a Benedictine monastery in the twelfth century and was subsequently
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (February 2019) National Planning Policy Framework (Para. 185 [d]) 7
Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, (December 2014, Updated January 2017) Standard Guidance for Historic Environment Desk-Based Assessment 8
https:// historicengland.org. uk/advice/technicaladvice/informationmanagement/hers/ 9
https:// historicengland.org. uk/research/methods/ characterisation-2/ historic-landscapecharacterisation/ 10
https:// historicengland.org. uk/research/methods/ characterisation-2/ urban-characterisation/ 11
https:// historicengland.org. uk/research/methods/ characterisation-2/ urban-characterisation/ 12
https://www.history. ac.uk/research/victoriacounty-history 13
Eilert Ekwall (1980) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names 14
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5. Existing view of the meandering Bannold Drove in Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, a route which predates the draining of the Fens. © LDA Design
6. A transformed Bannold Drove will be central to life in Waterbeach New Town East and form a new cycling and walking route through the development. © LDA Design
If we don’t get it right there is a risk of perpetuating the expansion of non-places
occupied by two further monastic orders before becoming a Franciscan convent of the Poor Clares, which was dissolved in 1539. The masterplan for the new community draws significantly on the team’s findings. It respects and enhances the setting of the Abbey through the introduction of Fenland Parks, which are evocative of the pre-drainage fenland landscape which would have existed in medieval times when the abbey was in use. The parks also mark the transition between the new town and the wider countryside and will provide extensive semi-natural wetland habitats and community assets. The Waterbeach New Town East masterplan also preserves underlying patterns in the landscape created by field boundaries and drainage channels to structure roads and development parcels within the new community. The alignment of an ancient ditch and drove road, which probably dates from before the drainage of the fens to create farmland, is also retained as a principal walking and cycling route, wildlife corridor and sustainable drainage feature through the new development.
Being good ancestors
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (March 2019), The Oxford-Cambridge Arc Government ambition and joint declaration between Government and local partners 15
Robert MacFarlane (2019), Underland: A Deep Time Journey 16
We are on the cusp of enormous change across the UK, and we need to be ambitious about the quality of design. The development and the re-modelling of urban and rural landscapes is at a pace and scale possibly not seen since the end of the Second World War. Creaking infrastructure needs replacing and upgrading and a growing population needs feeding and housing. We need to move quickly to reverse decades of environmental degradation and address the challenges posed by the climate crisis, including decarbonising the economy. One of the biggest stories of growth ahead is the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, which by 2050 will see the construction of up to one million homes and associated infrastructure15. The Government has stated that the natural environment is at the heart of its ambitions for the Arc. It has also committed to the 25 Year Environment
Plan’s comprehensive approach to improving landscapes and habitats, with biodiversity net gain and a natural capital approach. However, this massive initiative affects the unique character and identity of highly diverse landscapes and communities across an area around 90 miles wide. If we don’t get it right there is a risk of perpetuating the expansion of non-places. The Arc, therefore, needs a big vision to ensure its potential is realised. It needs to prioritise quality of life, green infrastructure and health and wellbeing in placemaking, and draw up a clear methodology to show how high standards of planning and design will be achieved. Within and beyond the Arc we have a duty to deliver a positive legacy for future generations or, as Robert MacFarlane puts it, “…to be good ancestors”. As the inheritors and creators of legacy, decisions need to respect and reflect the genius loci by purposefully considering context and by drawing on the cultural dimension
of the land. Such decisions must serve to strengthen local identity, rather than detract from it. Framing change in this way sees placemaking as a special sort of continuity. It sets new development and infrastructure within a broader evolutionary narrative, and forges deeper and more meaningful connections between people and the land. Ian Houlston CMLI MCIfA (LDA Design) and Dr Stephen Carter MCIfA FSA Scot (Headland Archaeology) are part of a small professional team supporting a collaborative project between the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment to prepare Guidelines for Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment, which is to be published in 2020. 27
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RESEARCH By Eugenio Da Rin and Josine Lambert 1. The photograph shows the physical model of a lower section of Valle Maggia, Switzerland. The intent of the model is to convey the importance of considering the river, the topography and the settlements as part of one single system, which dynamically changes over time. Different land uses are shown with transparent layers, stacked on top of each other when it may change in different seasons. Interventions are shown in red: hard embankment to the upper part, sediment excavation in the middle and vegetation planting in the lower section.
The Riparian Land-Shaping Machine A research project by Eugenio Da Rin and Josine Lambert proposes a strategy to improve the current model of water management and land ownership surrounding mountains and rivers.
ountain rivers provide the majority of Europe’s water resource yet, over time, they have been subjected to relentless exploitation by human intervention. One of the most radical and controversial interventions is the implementation of hydroelectric power networks throughout the continent, with the largest located in mountainous areas. Construction of these infrastructures commenced in the 1950s, when water cycles were steadier and more seasonal conditions could be relied upon. On the other hand, conservative attitudes and a desire for picturesque, natural landscape have left many contemporary challenges, such as demography, tourism and agriculture, unaddressed. The climate crisis represents a remarkable challenge for hydro power systems, as conditions have caused the water cycles to change. We are left with obsolete, concrete infrastructures which can dominate the mountain landscapes. Urgent and well managed action is required to address this issue and either rid the landscape of these redundant facilities or review and modernize the way in which they are used. Land borders drastically limit a common European engagement when it comes to mountain and river water management. The Alpine territory alone has seven different conflicting national policies and governments dealing with just one natural system. Common policies would be needed
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to review the management of river infrastructure from top to bottom. An example of a challenge faced on this scale is that of a reservoir on the top of a Swiss mountain, which impacts the landscape by flowing downriver to the valleys of France or Italy: currently this one entity is managed by three national governing bodies. On a smaller, more localised scale, there are various risks; including hazardous flooding, soil erosion and in some cases even water contamination. In many mountainous regions in Europe, small towns and villages face drastic depopulation as new generations are drawn to bigger cities and opportunities elsewhere. Less people inhabiting these regions means less resources for the management of the land, leaving it unmaintained. Meanwhile, there is little incentive or attraction for migration coming in to these mountain valleys. The Riparian Land-Shaping Machine aims to provide a model through which these issues, both large-scale and localised can begin to be tackled. By addressing land-ownership issues and changing the way that land is used throughout the year, we can achieve a more sustainable model. The compensation measures adopted from public administrations to deal with private landownership is currently limited to money purchases and property exchange. Land is considered a commodity and the disconnection between inhabitants and landscape as a system is further emphasised. The intent of this project is to investigate and challenge the possibility of a more flexible and integrated solution. This requires further context-specific research on the socioeconomic situation to develop proposals that create a balanced connection between the landscape and settlements, without resulting in social or environmental injustice. This project does not include a detailed study on the proposals for the management of land ownership. The project imagines a series of scenarios and hopes to provide solutions to these scenarios based on strategic guidelines. A catalogue of these guidelines is established in order to distinguish possible interventions 30
TERRITORIAL FORMATIONS - VALLEMAGGIA
Figure 67. Territorial formations - Vallemaggia
and their effects. This is sorted, based on the type of land uses present in the territory such as tourism, agriculture and energy production. For example, if there is heavy rainfall, the Machine would instinctively move to store excessive volumes of water to natural dams or ponds by means of “controlled flooding”. This should limit the possibility of flooding within settlements and villages. The Machine could also control flooding by “opening” specific embankments to act as a conductor to redirect the river flow. In some areas, where river sediment has built up, the Machine could excavate the soil deposits and
move them to other areas where they are of more use (i.e. to form natural embankments). Once sediments are moved to the desired location they can be used to form a “braided” river network. A braided river is formed when a series of different river channels weave in and out of each other and the local sediments create small “islands”, often referred to as “braid bars”. Depending on the size of these braid bars, this new land can have a variety of uses and in some cases can even become inhabitable. The Machine could also be used to remove invasive vegetation to generate space for river expansion or
2. The illustration shows a diagram of Maggia Valley, Switzerland. As a large-scale landscape infrastructure, river Maggia defines the layout, character and economy of the valley. The substantial presence of hydropower facilities upstream have not only radically deteriorated the landscape value downstream, but also negatively affected the settlements economies (i.e. fishing activities along the river have completely disappeared due to water cycle changes over the past few decades).
3. The drawing depicts a simulation run in a section of Maggia river near Someo, Switzerland. Although the scientific model behind the software can’t predict the actual water flow, nevertheless the graphic output provides an accurate reference for the course of the river over a time period. The arrows are used as vectors to indicate the strength and direction of the water, also revealing the likely proceeding of sediments.
GEOMORPHOLOGY - SOMEO
The Machine could also control flooding by “opening” specific embank ments to act as a conductor to redirect the river flow
to plant native species to control soil erosion and stabilise sediments in desired locations. Different types of interventions are therefore possible and can be divided into three categories; hard (i.e. stone embankments), medium (sediment implementation/excavation) and soft (planting or removal of vegetation). Of course, hard interventions are often the most labour-intensive, costly and generally intended as long term solutions. Soft interventions can be relatively easy to implement, however may only be effective in the short term. These interventions cannot be put forward as stand-alone, punctual projects
Figure 82. Geomorphology - Someo
but need to be identified at a general masterplan level with the guidance of planning authorities and environmental agencies. Their implementation should be included and aligned with future development programmes. These interventions cannot be put forward as stand-alone and punctual projects but need to be identified at a general masterplan level with the guidance of planning authorities and environmental agencies. Their implementation should be included and aligned with future developments programmes. The Riparian Land-Shaping Machine is an opportunity to translate
the written European Landscape Convention of 2000 (or Florence Convention) into an effective visual interpretation. The Agreement aimed to raise awareness of the various issues facing European landscape using a holistic approach to realise it as one entity. One of the most important accomplishments of the Machine, is the ability to complement and convey by illustration what would otherwise remain a bureaucratic document. The research has the challenging and ambitious aim of dealing with numerous, multiple-scale complexities, from the pan-European to more sitespecific scenarios. Although the need for a common agenda between the various stakeholders to control a single natural system is clear, the political solution to assume a managing role remains an interesting aspect to be further investigated. The climate crisis we are facing globally demands a review of the current management of large-scale landscape infrastructures. Their dynamic processes must be considered with a multidisciplinary approach and use diverse expertise. Policies and legislation must be put in place in order to encourage the development of long-term strategies. The issue of land ownership and exploitation should be explored further in order to preserve the way public interest is managed under a long-term perspective. Recent research from the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne has documented the proliferation of water management regulations at national levels over the past few decades. They were often designed to regulate the same area along different lines and across different scales but had an indirect negative impact on governance and resulted in a decrease in efficiency and clarity, leading to a systemic malfunction. In light of interdependent climate-related issues, the suggested way forward would be for the single national states to collaborate for a general review of water management matters. The challenges are several and complex, but the time to act is now.
F E AT U R E By Hamish Stewart 1. Pedestrian route in Delft. © Malcolm Dodds
Traffic removal and land value capture 1
As Birmingham, Brighton, Edinburgh, York and other UK cities act on the opportunity to create new traffic-free city centres, Hamish Stewart, co-founder of London Car Free Day, argues that the value of the land released should be captured for social good.
e are living in an urban age. By 2030 over 60% of the global population will live in cities.1 The trend towards intensive urbanisation across all continents has major implications for humanity, and for climate change. How we manage our growing cities will determine our future prosperity and wellbeing as a species. Here in the UK, cities like London, 32
Manchester, and Birmingham and their peers have a unique opportunity to lead the world towards a more sustainable future of traffic-free city centres and climate resilient infrastructure. The role of urban form in determining public health outcomes is clearest in London and other UK cities which are failing to improve the worst air quality in Western Europe. Globally, the WHO estimates attributes 4.2 million deaths every year
to exposure to outdoor air pollution.2 Emissions from the transport sector are also a major driver of climate change, accounting for around 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions.3 By leading the transition to traffic-free city centres, UK cities can demonstrate how more efficient land use can drive more equitable and prosperous urbanisation at the global scale. Around the world, cities are economic engines of growth and
‘68% of the world’s population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050, says UN’ (16.05.2018): https://www.un.org/ development/desa/en/ news/population/2018revision-of-worldurbanization-prospects. html 1
‘Ambient air pollution - a major threat to health and climate:’ https://www.who.int/ airpollution/ambient/en 2
‘Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data:’ https://www.epa. gov/ghgemissions/ global-greenhousegas-emissions-data 3
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The greatest opportunity of all in going trafficfree is the land that is freed up for alternative uses as new public parks, public realm, affordable housing and commercial space
‘Environmental Impacts of Urban Growth:’ https://urban. yale.edu/research/ theme-4 4
‘Land Use Footprint in Selected Central Areas:’ https:// transportgeography. org/?page_id=10299 5
Seto et al (2011) ‘A Meta-Analysis of Global Urban Land Expansion:’ https://journals. plos.org/plosone/ article?id=10.1371/ journal.pone.0023777 6
In London, the Mayor has committed to net zero emissions by 2050, and the City of London has similar commitments: https:// www.cityoflondon. gov.uk/services/ environment-andplanning/sustainability/ Documents/zeroemissions-city-2018. pdf 7
https://www.odi. org/sites/odi.org. uk/files/resourcedocuments/12680.pdf 8
Rethinking Urban Sprawl: Moving Towards Sustainable Cities: https://www. oecd.org/environment/ tools-evaluation/PolicyHighlights-RethinkingUrban-Sprawl.pdf 9
prosperity, but more efficient, infrastructure and housing.8 equitable land use is required for cities Overcoming vested interests in the to live up to their potential as centres fossil fuel status quo will require of human flourishing. That is why it is phenomenal political leadership. At so important to see Edinburgh, York, the same time, acceleration of the Birmingham and other leading UK transition to traffic-free city centres cities consider a future of traffic-free and zero emissions transport systems city centres. The future health of the represents a great opportunity to planet depends on it. drive economic growth and improve By 2030, the world is likely to add environmental health outcomes for new urban areas the size of Mongolia, all citizens. or six times the area of the UK, over The land use transition 1.5 million square kilometres. Much opportunity – a simple of this expanded area will cover approach to boosting prime agricultural land. According to public finance Yale University “the conversion of earth’s land surface to urban uses is In today’s cities, dominated by private one of the most irreversible human cars, road surfaces and parking take impacts on the global biosphere.”4. Between 30%‑60% of this total area will be concrete roads and parking.5 As a Edinburgh result of this inefficient 27 ha approach to land use 2,500 and a preference for great stretches of empty concrete in cities, urban expansion is one of the Glasgow primary drivers of habitat 99 ha loss, species extinction, 5,500 and the destruction of prime agricultural land.6 The destructive approach to urban form and land use that has defined Liverpool 59 ha twentieth century urban 2,500 life is based on the design of cities for the internal combustion engine vehicle rather than for people. This is Birmingham 113 ha finally starting to change.
Traffic-free city centres and the future of net zero urban landscapes The way we choose to design and build our cities is fundamental to the transition to net zero emissions and more equitable cities with world-class, climate resilient infrastructure.7 This transition requires a massive investment in new public transport
up an average of 30% of urban land. In North American cities and UK cities following an American urban design matrix, roads and car parks can account for up to 60% of the total urban land surface. Thankfully, most UK cities are compact, many with medieval town centres that are ideally suited to traffic-free land use patterns.9 The greatest opportunity of all in going traffic-free is the land that is freed up for alternative uses as new public parks, public realm, affordable housing and commercial space. At the same time as urban land is wasted as empty parking and road space; the UK lags its G7 peers in infrastructure investment. This
Bristol 30 ha
Potential new homes Total parking area within 1 mile of a rail or tube station
Newcastle 43 ha
Leeds 42 ha
Manchester 114 ha
Sheffield 44 ha
Greater London 854 ha
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shortfall is felt most acutely in cities. Yet political capture of tax policy means that national council tax rates are highly regressive and based on 1991 land values, depriving cities or a core source of investment finance. A dysfunctional and highly regressive property tax system will never finance the infrastructure that UK cities so desperately require. In response to the twin challenges of climate action and infrastructure finance, the mayors of London10 and other UK cities seek advice from investment bankers on how to raise money with new structured finance vehicles. The answer to boosting municipal finance for investment in climate adaptation and infrastructure, however, could be much simpler than further financialisation. A new land value taxation system,11 applied to vacant property across the UK, and to newly productive land converted from car parks and roads to residential and commercial use, could be transformative for public finance. This could be started with a focus on road user charging and the conversion of on-street parking and car parks in all UK city centres to more productive uses.12 By ensuring that local authorities participate in the value uplift of land conversion and rezoning in a systematic way, public finances will be better positioned to support long-term growth.
1, 2. Car Free Day in London. © Mickey Lee
Housing as a case study on the land use conversion opportunity One of the clearest opportunities for a land use transition is from parking to new housing. Across the ten largest UK cities, over 100,000 homes could be built on land currently devoted to parking. Much of this land is currently owned by local authorities, who would benefit from rezoning and the associated land value uplift. In spite of the clear opportunity for London to convert some of the 6.8 million parking spaces across the city to higher value uses, political inertia is strong. So cities like York and Birmingham could lead the way for London to follow, starting with a systematic transition from parking to housing.
https://www. london.gov.uk/ sites/default/files/ londonsimulatorreport. pdf. According to Greenwood, “The missing link [in urban infrastructure finance] is a framework in which private investors, ranging from individual citizens to pension funds, can play a much larger role in financing public urban investment.” Yet global sovereign wealth funds already invest around £3billion per year in the UK economy, mostly in cities: https://www. reuters.com/article/ uk-swf-investmentbritain/brexit-stallsinvestments-bysovereign-wealthfunds-in-britainidUSKCN1RU135. The missing piece is robust investment public infrastructure and housing that serves local communities ahead of financial capital. 10
London’s opportunity to lead the way London is one of the world’s densest, most dynamic global cities, yet roads still make up 80% of the public space.13 On-street parking alone takes up an area larger than the Borough of Southwark, consuming around 8000 hectares of land. So far, Amsterdam is leading the way, with plans to transition over 10,000
parking spaces to alternative uses. Edinburgh, Birmingham, Brighton, York and Oslo are all moving ahead with plans to pedestrianise their respective city centres. With a little ambition, the 2020s could be the decade that UK cities lead a global transition to traffic-free city centres, the application of land value taxation and a new climate resilient, equitable model for urban growth.
https://www. economist.com/ briefing/2018/08/09/ the-time-may-be-rightfor-land-value-taxes 11
https://www. centreforlondon.org/ publication/road-usercharging/ 12
http://content.tfl.gov. uk/healthy-streets-forlondon.pdf 13
F E AT U R E By Amanda Merrell
The internet of things
Are we ready to make it work for landscape? The internet of things is not only revolutionising the luxury goods business but could have a major impact on addressing climate emergency at a local level argues Amanda Merrell.
few years ago, if you had asked people about “internet of things (IoT)” it would have not meant very much, maybe a vague reference to “fridges that reorder your milk”. It was seen as a solution for a problem that most people felt they
did not have. Serious discussions on IoT were conducted behind the closed doors of the tech and telecoms companies. How times have changed. The definition of IoT is: “A system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines,
objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring humanto-human or human-to-computer intervention”. In construction and building maintenance there has been explosive 35
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growth in the development of innovative technologies based on IoT. Over the last 10 years, companies in the “smart systems market” have revolutionised the industry. New, innovative start-ups like Gooee1 have created a single pane view across multiple building systems. Their IoT platform, using sensor technology, unifies building control, communication, sensing and data analytics. This provides many benefits, including energy savings, space optimisation and occupant wellbeing and productivity. Return on investment (ROI) is proven and there are many case studies which serve as reference points. Part of the success of these solutions is down to the fact they are focused, well defined and offered by a single provider. However, in the construction industry there is still much hype about “smart buildings’, but few examples of successful implementation. A smart building project is more complex, needs collaboration across a much larger number of suppliers and ideally needs to be managed by a ‘Division 25’
contractor. The 1-50 Divisions Master Format, defined by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) is the most widely used protocol for communication in the building industry. Division 25 is ‘Integration automation’. It is where technology – hardware and software, roles and responsibilities of contractors, as well as standards – are specified to build an IoT integration platform2. To date there are very few contractors with expertise in Division 25. Furthermore, there are additional hurdles around regulation, governance and modernising antiquated processes in key areas like contracting, to speed up deployment. With a lack of proven ROI, it will be difficult to see wider adoption. There have been few IoT innovations targeted specifically at landscape architecture, partly because to date there is no clearly defined business need and also because of a lack of completed “smart building” projects, where the exterior landscape might have been considered. Sustainability continues to be a key consideration in building design and
construction. Edwin Heathcote writing in the FT July 2018 on the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist asked “what does the shortlist say about contemporary architecture? Certainly, something about sustainability is finally becoming absorbed into the mainstream but also an increasing appreciation of reuse, adaptations, more natural materials...” Is there a specific business case for landscape architects to improve their impact on the environment? There are many examples of landscape architecture projects where the impact on the environment has been a key part of the design. In Landscape Issue 4- 2019 Climate and Diversity Issue there were many case studies of how the industry is starting to step up and contribute. From big design projects, such as the plan to turn Sheffield into a carbon neutral city by 2030, to small changes that can be easily included into existing projects, for example the routine use of climate messaging and labelling emissions on buildings or marks to indicate rising sea level. There is “good business’ in the
1. Photo caption. © Photo credit
How can IoT technology drive new, innovative solutions which are better for business and better for the planet?
optigo.net Aug 2 2018
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Case study Companies in the luxury goods sector have had a very clear business challenge – how to reduce costs from sales of counterfeit products. Last year Ralph Lauren (with its partners Evrythng3 and Avery Dennison4) announced its intention to provide every product they make with a unique digital identity.
© Ralph Lauren
© Ralph Lauren
By scanning the digital product ID on the product label, the consumer can immediately confirm whether they are buying the real thing or a fake. Once scanned and verified as “authentic”, Ralph Lauren is uniquely placed to meet the consumers’ demand for new authentic brand experiences and to provide reassurance on the environmental impact of the specific product they have just bought. For Millennials and Generation Z, this is one of key trends that drives their decisions on what to buy. Sustainability is no longer a nice to have, communicated in the annual report. It is central to the product proposition.
EVRYTHNG is an internet of things software company based in London, San Francisco and New York City. 3
Avery Dennison Corporation is a global manufacturer and distributor of pressuresensitive adhesive materials, apparel branding labels and tags, RFID inlays, and specialty medical products. 4
business of climate change. How can IoT technology drive new, innovative solutions which are better for business and better for the planet? Innovation supported by IoT technology in construction and building maintenance has been mainly focused on providing cost savings through improving efficiency and effectiveness. I am not aware of any of the current solutions which use the data to connect, engage and communicate directly with the user of the building. For example, an education program to directly engage with office staff on behaviour such as the impact of opening windows while the air conditioning is still on. In other industries, there is evidence of good ROI models when you use IoT platforms to engage directly with customers, to educate, inform and improve their experience. Is there an opportunity for using IoT technology to initiate broader collective action on climate change, through connecting and engaging with the people as they make use of a public space? In Landscape for mobilising climate action – climate literacy (Landscape, Issue 4-2019 ),
Hannah Garrow referenced Canadian academic Dr Stephen Sheppard, who suggested that there could be a critical role for landscape professionals in encouraging and raising levels of climate literacy. Dr Sheppard states that one possible solution is to develop specific tools to help the public “read the signs of climate all around them, engage in responding to climate change and force future consequences of their action and inaction”. It is here, I believe, that the biggest opportunity to deliver innovative solutions using IoT Technology lies. For example, consumers using a park which has been designed using nature-based solutions (NBS) to offset the specific car emissions of cars in the town. By scanning the trees and plants, people will be able to see specifically how much CO2 has been offset that day. The public may want to join a local movement to improve air quality and perhaps purchase the same tree for themselves. With one click they can order from the local nursery. By adding this tree to your garden, you will be recognised for “doing your bit”. Is landscape architecture ready to
step forward and use IoT technology as the enabler for new solutions which are better for business and better for the planet? I suggest the following as a way forward: Step 1 – Encourage innovation through sponsoring cross discipline (technology and landscape professionals) projects at graduate, MSc or PhD level in universities. Step 2 – Within existing businesses, set up an innovation project staffed by a cross discipline set of employees and give them the mandate to innovate through collaboration. Give them time off from their day job to accomplish this, with a firm date to deliver. Step 3 – Set up and run many small proof of concept projects. Learn and share results. It is OK to fail as long as the learning is captured.
Amanda Merrell is a marketing and communications consultant specialising in the internet of things 37
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F E AT U R E By Elizabeth Reynolds
Stitching together the layers of our urban landscapes
Landscaped spaces are often placed above buried infrastructure. Elizabeth Reynolds asks if landscape practice can become an integral part of the design process. 1. Coppenhill – an urban ski slope above a biomass waste to energy plant in Copenhagen, Denmark designed by Bjarke Ingles Group with landscape by SLA. © Creative Commons (Kallerna, 04 November 2019)
s our cities grow up, out and down, it is time we better understood how the different layers of these complex urban environments relate to one another. Landscape architects have an important role to play in stitching cities together in a manner that optimises land while also ensuring that the journey of a pedestrian through a city is a coherent and enjoyable one. The notion of multi-level living is something which as humans we have had to adapt to. In his book Vertical, Stephen Graham asks difficult questions about the potential consequences for people living in dense, multi layered cities. For example, do citizens have a right to identify and experience natural ground level? Although people tend to experience underground places as interiors, cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore are developing more underground pedestrian walkways, and the same care should be taken to
design these as coherent sequences within longer journeys as with external spaces. Beyond the human element, it is worth also considering the natural systems disrupted by construction of the infrastructure needs of cities. Earth extracted for railway networks, utility pipes and basements is relocated and used, for example, to contour golf courses or reclaim land from the sea. The properties of that soil are therefore lost from the city, and the water previously held within it either extracted or diverted. What physical space and natural capital remains beneath our cities, and how can we balance the competing demands and consequences associated with urban development?
Overcoming urban severance Since Le Corbusier’s vision of the Radiant City in the 1920s, a desire to create fast flowing elevated roads
has scarred many cities. At street level, even contemporary road and rail projects designed to improve access and over long distances tend to create severance that impedes local connectivity. When considering the removal or scaling back of major road infrastructure, careful consideration should be given as to whether it is most appropriate to make lateral or vertical changes, such as new (deep) tunnels, shallow (cut and cover) decks or (elevated) bridges. These decisions will largely depend on the surrounding street pattern and built form; subsurface constraints (such as utility diversions or ground conditions that could increase construction costs) and wider policy objectives. Although sinking road traffic into tunnels can create opportunities for landscaped public open space, it is important that these initiatives are taken as part of holistic measures to reduce car use, in order to ensure that air quality and other traffic impacts are not simply displaced. 39
Paul Lecroart, of the Planning Agency for the Paris Metropolitan Region (IAU), says that converting stretches of highways into multi-use boulevards and public spaces may open up new avenues for rethinking our cities in terms of liveability, mobility and resilience (Lecroart, P (2018). Lecroart has researched over 20 case studies of highways being converted to urban boulevards and linear parks including the Cheonggyecheon River in Seoul where a highway previously carrying 168,000 cars a day was removed and the previously culverted river restored. Traffic has significantly continued to reduce and in summer temperatures are now 5°C lower than on other arterial roads. In Boston, although the Big Dig project became a byword for mismanagement, it is an improvement to the amenity and landscape of Boston. From its construction in 1959, an elevated section of the Interstate 93 highway divided downtown Boston from its waterfront, significantly impacting the quality of the urban environment. The eventual diversion of the elevated highway into a tunnel has enabled creation of the Rose Kennedy Greenway. A series of five interconnected parks stretch across 2.4km and are maintained by the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy who describe the space as ‘a roof garden atop a highway tunnel’ (RFKGC, 2017). The parks have transformed the character of Boston and opened up new opportunities for the surrounding communities. Closer to home, Barcelona’s Ronda del Mig (by Jordi Henrich & Olga Tarraso) is also a good example of building over a dual carriageway to form a public park.
Multifunctional and adaptable infrastructure The above examples tend to place landscaped spaces above the buried infrastructure, but can landscape architecture move from perhaps being part of the lipstick on an infrastructure gorilla, to a more integral part of the design process? Copenhill is the world’s first ski slope on a waste recycling plant. The Amager Bakke as it is formally known, is a fully operational biomass 40
2. Lowline Lab – a testbed for the world’s first underground park by Raad Studio and Mathews Nielsen. © Creative Commons (JCBergland, 15 March, 2016)
waste to energy plant in Copenhagen, Denmark. Designed by architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) for Amager Ressource Centre, it is able to convert 400,000 tons of waste each year – enough to provide heat for 150,000 households and low-carbon electricity for 550,000 people. Working with Landscape Architects SLA, this has become far more than just a functional, single purpose structure, with BIG designing the building to incorporate a ski slope, hiking trail, and climbing wall. Reaching a peak of 85m, this manmade mountain has 10 different hiking and running routes landscaped with rocks, grasses, over 7,000 bushes and 130 trees.
“It is, to date, the closest thing we have achieved in realizing the vision of designing our cities and buildings as man-made ecosystems. Because not only does the waste-to-energy plant harvest local resources – rainwater, daylight, natural airflows – it forms an urban metabolism with the city of Copenhagen, converting its waste into a rich energy reserve to supply roughly half of the Danish capital with energy.” Bjarke Ingels (Architectural Digest, 2019)
On the other side of the Atlantic in Manhattan, an entirely new form of excavated, rather than extruded, landscape is proposed. Located in a former tram depot, the Lowline takes a radical approach to the creation of new and much needed public open space in a dense urban environment.
“New York is a dense layer cake of history that we don’t often celebrate, and there’s so much of the city that we don’t notice or that remains unseen. So in another respect, the Lowline peels back layers of the city’s stratified history to look at and appreciate something which
is over 100 years old that is basically hiding in plain sight. The unique nature of the park and the process of walking from the street down into it should inspire curiosity and feel interesting. It’s not just a park that has been dropped 20 feet below the ground, but an altogether new experience.” James Ramsey, Founder of the Lowline and RAAD design studio.’ (Lowline, 2018)
The Lowline Lab was created to test the viability of the park and to help children learn about science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). The Lowline Lab comprised a 464 sqm installation of the plants and lighting that could feature in the Lowline park. Some 3,000 plants including mosses, herbs, vegetables and tropical fruits were grown beneath lighting prototypes that were designed and installed by RAAD and a Korean technology company, Sunportal, in a landscape designed by Signe Nielsen of Mathews Nielsen and built by John Mini Distinctive Landscapes. As these case studies suggest, there is a role for ecologists and landscape architects to bring their understanding of urban ecosystems and interactions between man and nature to all layers of the city, from the highest spaces to the deepest places. Underground Urbanism is published by Routledge and is available in bookshops and from the publisher: www.routledge.com Elizabeth Reynolds MRTPI is a director of Urben Limited
References Graham, S., (2016). Vertical: The City from Satellites to Bunkers. London: Verso. Katz, P., P. (2018) Architectural Digest. ‘BIG’s Bjarke Ingels on His Singular Vision for CopenHill—the Power Plant–Ski Slope’, 12 February 2019 [Online] Accessed on 12 January 2020. Available at: https://www. architecturaldigest. com/story/big-bjarkeingels-copenhill Lecroart, P. (2018) Urban Design, Summer 2018, issue 147. ‘Reinventing Cities: From Urban Highway to Living Space’. [Online] Available at: http://www.udg. org.uk/publications/ urban-design-journalissue/urban-design147-summer-2018 Accessed on 13 February 2019.
C L I M AT E E M E R G E N C Y By Claire Thirlwall
Climate change resources – large scale infrastructure As part of a regular series, Claire Thirlwall explores tools and guidance linked to this issue’s theme
or many of our projects it is easy to find ways to mitigate for climate change – we can create new areas of habitat, improve soil health or include tree planting.
For large scale infrastructure, however, the options can be less clear. The business case may be the need to meet a regional or national demand, such as transport or energy supply, but with specific safety or structural
requirements that then limit our choice of materials. With this reduced scope we often need to be more creative and find new resources, such as the ones listed here, to help minimise any negative impact of our work.
1. Bridget Joyce Square, London – planted rainwater basin, Robert Bray Associates(2016)
The Green Book The Green Book: appraisal and evaluation in central government, published by HM Treasury, provides guidance on how to appraise policies, programmes and projects. The Green Book has been published for nearly 50 years, with the 2018 edition including new sections on environmental appraisal. Whilst written as guidance for central government, it is a useful primer for all procurement and appraisal, as it includes topics such as identifying bias and risk, as well as climate change issues. The bibliography provides a useful list of books and reports on climate change.1
© Robert Bray Associates
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) SuDS can be seen as only impacting on water management, but well-designed systems can help mitigate the impacts of climate change and reduce emissions, as well as improving carbon sequestration. Benefits include: – Soft landscaped areas, typical of SuDS, can provide greater localised cooling and shading than hard landscapes and in turn reduce energy use – Reduced surface water pumping and wastewater treatment results in reduced energy use and carbon emissions – Improved carbon sequestration by trees, vegetation and the creation of healthy, wetted soil The Susdrain website, run by the Construction Industry Research and
Information Association(CIRIA) is an excellent resource, including the freeto-download SuDS Manual.
HE GREEN BOOK CENTRAL GOVERNMENT T GUIDANCE ON APPRAISAL AND EVALUATION, , 2018, <https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/ uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/685903/ The_Green_Book.pdf>.
Landscape Architects Declare Launched in January 2020, UK Landscape Architects Declare is part of the global Construction Declares movement. Founded by 14 landscape architecture practices and individuals, 2 3
it sets out 11 statements of intent. It identifies the need to raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for practical action amongst clients, co-consultants and supply chains. Key objectives are: – Preserve and protect existing irreplaceable landscapes and habitats, whilst protecting and optimising areas of functional and biodiverse landscape in all developments.2 – Adopt a whole systems approach to landscape design recognising that soils, bacteria and mycorrhizal
fungi are key factors for ecosystem survival and carbon sequestration – Promote low embodied carbon approaches and look to maximise carbon sequestering, responsible and sustainable use of water and biodiversity net gains in all projects – Establish climate and biodiversity mitigation, adaptation and resilience principles as the key measure of the industry’s success: demonstrated through awards, prizes and listings.3 Whilst Landscape Architects Declare is not a tool, the aims should be central to the design of new infrastructure.
‘Landscape Architects Declare – Grant Associates’, in Grant Associates, <https://grant-associates.uk.com/> [accessed 15 January 2020]. ‘Landscape Architects Declare – Grant Associates’.
Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3)
The Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) is a collaboration between contractors, software providers and charitable trusts, including the Carbon Leadership Forum, Skanska USA, Microsoft and Autodesk. This free, cloud-based tool provides data on the materials used in construction4. Users can search by material and country. At the time of writing, the data for UK landscape materials was limited but the tool is still in beta form so this may improve as the tool develops.
‘Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool’, in Carbon Leadership Forum, <http://www.carbonleadershipforum.org/projects/ec3/> [accessed 8 January 2020].
Landscape Performance Series by the Landscape Architecture Foundation This online set of resources, created in 2010 by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, allows landscape
architects to “evaluate performance, show value and make the case for sustainable solutions.”5 The website includes 150 case studies, online Benefits Toolkit calculators and guidance documents, along with an archive of past webinars that can be accessed for free.6 One of the most useful resources is the 107-page “Evaluating Landscape Performance – Guidebook for Metrics and Methods Selection 2018”, which includes sections on environmental, social and economic benefits, as well as worksheet templates for determining project goals, assessing environmental performance and assessing social performance.
‘Landscape Performance Series Resources’, in Landscape Performance Series, <https://www.landscapeperformance.org/browse> [accessed 8 January 2020]. 6 ‘Landscape Performance Series Resources’. 5
Working Practice It can be easy to forget that our own actions are part of the environmental impact of a project. On large scale infrastructure projects, the impact of our travel to site, site cabin energy use and the day to day office waste generated by site staff can have a significant impact. Other issues such as the impact of data transfer – powering and cooling the servers that allow us to share documents online and search for information – need to be considered. For long-lasting infrastructure the day to day maintenance can have a significant climate impact, potentially greater than the construction work, so sites should be designed to minimise high carbon maintenance activities. We plan to create a list of tools and resources to support climate, sustainability and resilience-related CPD. We plan to include an update in each edition and welcome ideas for new resources. If you have used any of the resources listed, we would like to know how useful they are and how applicable you feel they are to our profession. Please contact: paul.lincoln@ landscapeinstitute.org
Claire Thirlwall is director of Oxfordshire based landscape practice Thirlwall Associates. Her book “From Idea to Site: a project guide to creating better landscapes” is published by RIBA Books.
C A S E S T U DY
Morecambe Promenade Morecambe
By Simon Ward/ David Wilkinson Atkins was appointed by Lancaster City Council in September 2014 as part of VBA, a joint venture comprising VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and Atkins to repair and replace a crumbling sea wall which was originally constructed in 1985. The brief also required the design to improve the adjacent promenade spaces which were an integral component of the defence. The site occupies a 3.6km long stretch of the seafront at Morecambe in Lancashire from road kerb to rock armour edge, varying in width from a few metres to 10m wide. The total site area was around 3 hectares and was completed in 3 phases opening
in August 2018. The scheme was delivered 6 months early and achieved £3.8m of cost savings (25%) against the original budget of £15.2m. The scheme protects around 13,000 properties in a town of 35,000 people. The national average cost for flood defence schemes is £12,000 per property protected, the Morecambe scheme was delivered at £1,000 per property making it the highest value for money project in the north west delivered by the Environment Agency in 2018. Morecambe was a small fishing village, growing rapidly in the 19th century to become a popular resort for the expanding industrial towns. Today it is best known as the birthplace of comedian Eric Morecambe. The towns existing sea wall was constructed in 1985 but much of it showed extensive cracking and surveys determined that large sections needed replacing or extensive repairs carried out. Atkins was appointed to develop a design to replace the sea wall as part of a £2.6bn investment by the Environment Agency to protect more than 300,000 homes by 2021.
The scheme sets a new standard in design quality by enhancing the local landscape working with the cultural and historic environment, promoting active use and appreciation of the spectacular views across Morecambe bay towards the distant Lake District. This project has not only regenerated the promenade but is helping to protect thousands of homes from the increasing impacts of climate change and sea level rise. The sloped profile of the new wall gives the impression of a wider promenade with elegant outlines reflecting the local 1930’s architecture. A warm ivory colour replaces the grey concrete that schemes like this are often associated with. The wall also has a smooth face, encouraging human contact, personifying what is essentially a huge concrete structure, making it less liable to abuse; proven with only one small instance of vandalism to date. The idea was to capture and complement, not to compete with the beauty of the bay. A key part of the vision was to improve safety and access and the design allows for pedestrians and
1. This project has promoted sustainable travel by providing a high quality, safe and highly accessible route with links to existing cycle and walking networks. Morecambe is once again capitalising on its beautiful setting and attracting more visitors, walkers, cyclists and others who are exploring other coastal recreational activities, like kite flying and windsurfing. The prom also forms part of the Lancashire coastal way and forms the end of the East to West cycle route. The revitalised promenade promotes more active travel, especially with the high elderly population of Morecambe, creating a more active and healthier community. © David Millington / Atkins
This scheme is absolutely fabulous
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2. The flood wall has been very carefully designed. Atkins landscape architect and engineers worked closely to create something that would be robust as well as beautiful and easy to construct. The flood defence has been conceived as something more than a defence and forms an important part of this popular resort`s streetscape and public realm. ÂŠ David Millington / Atkins
3. Improving access to the promenade formed a key part of the works. An access strategy rationalised around 30 access points for pedestrians and vehicles with flush and ramped access points providing inclusive access for all. It was very important to highlight these points visually to help improve access. We achieved this mainly by means of profile as they pop up at regular intervals, with slopes aligned to mirror the distant hills beyond but also through patterns and names which would make them more memorable and reinforce these apertures as places to meet, greet and find your bearings.
vehicles with flush and ramped solutions providing inclusive access for all ages and abilities. Access points were highlighted visually to encourage use, with side walls sloped to mirror the distant hills and relevant patterns and names making them more memorable, to ventriloquise the place. Sustainability is at the core of the design with 30% of the wall being repaired with an innovative solution leading to 5,000m3 of concrete demolition, disposal and replacement avoided. The new promenade has also attracted more cyclists, elderly users and walkers, who are engaging in healthy pursuits. Zero accidents occurred over its 149,230 construction hours and on completion of the project, a survey of over 2,000 residents showed that 98% gave a good or excellent satisfaction score. The scheme represents a beautiful and robust response to the effects of climate change. It both reflects and enhances its location, has encouraged more active travel use, more visitors and was delivered with significant cost and time savings to wide acclaim from the local community, project funders, maintainers and client sponsors. It is a wonderful advertisement for landscape architecture. This scheme is part of a programme of coastal defence projects in the UK and this one is sustaining/protecting over 13,000 properties including businesses, from catastrophic flooding events and damage through regular and increasingly violent sea storms. It has therefore enhanced this vulnerable community`s climate resilience. Parts of the town also have areas of high deprivation, so the resort needs to encourage more visitors and visitor spend, to help reverse its overall economic fortunes. Investigative surveys were conducted to test and subsequently secure re use of the existing foundations and innovations in the walls repair system meant that where wall was not too seriously corroded we saved over 5,000m3 of new concrete from having to be installed. The concrete that was used
was created by locally based manufacturing, reducing costs and impacts to bring materials to site located just 1.5 miles from site. The wall was created offsite in re-usable pre-cast steel shutters providing over 1500 wall units. The mix incorporated the use of micro fibres within the concrete to improve the post-cracking ductility and to also improve abrasion and impact resistance for longevity. We also used a sustainable cement in the mix with 50% of it coming from ground granulated blast furnace slag which is a by-product of the steel manufacturing process. This project has collected a number of awards, including ICE and local authority recognition and was one of
5 finalists in the Landscape Institutes annual awards under the medium size category. It has also received great acclaim from local residents of whom 98% scored it as good or excellent in a residents feedback forum.
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1. By committing to ‘Collect & Connect’ both water and communities, a polycentric regional system forms that distributes amenity and strengthens the resilience and lifestyle of smaller cities, like South City, for the benefit of the entire bay area.
Resilient South City San Francisco
By Richard Mullane Before it became known as the Bay Area’s ‘industrial city’, South San Francisco was the kind of place where people could walk the length of the creek to swim in the bay. This proposal by the Hassell+ collective aims to make that possible again. The ‘Collect & Connect’ proposal for South San Francisco was part of a year-long design challenge and programme combining the creativity, knowledge and experience of residents, public officials and local, national and international design experts. The brief? To develop inventive, community-based solutions to sea level rise, severe storms, flooding and earthquakes. Located in San Mateo County, South San Francisco is the bay’s self-proclaimed ‘industrial city’. Major motorways and rail lines link the city to the region, but also divide the city and limit residents’ access to the bay. The South City watershed includes South San Francisco, as well as Colma, San Bruno and Daly City. Over the last half-century, residents have lost their historic connection to the water. Parts of the community suffer from flooding and their access to the shoreline is blocked by industry. And, like the entire Bay Area, San Mateo County is at risk from sea level and seismic events. Through extensive community engagement, research and an inclusive design process, the Hassell+ international collective mapped out a range of ways to make ‘South City’ stronger – as an exemplar of climate change resilience for the entire Bay Area. Together, these ideas make it easier to reach and enjoy the local
2. The ‘Eco Water Park’ adjacent to the revamped water plant becomes a teaching tool and natural shoreline swimming pool. © Hassell+
creek and bay, reduce the impacts of flooding, build resilience to sea level rise and return native flora and fauna to the area. Just as importantly, they make a healthy, active life near the water easier to imagine and achieve.
The ‘Collect & Connect’ strategy The overarching Collect & Connect strategy proposes a resilient, responsive network where creeks and streets could be redesigned as green linear corridors for water management and community gathering – transforming the regional structure from a vulnerable loop into a connected resilient network. By committing to collect and connect both water and communities, a polycentric
regional system forms that distributes amenity and strengthens the resilience and lifestyle of smaller cities, like South City, for the benefit of the entire bay area. The South City strategy proposes adaptation projects across the local watershed (mountain-side reservoirs, cemetery-side reservoirs and resilient schools) as well as new ‘slow streets’ for mobility and water – forming a resilience network for South City and neighbouring areas. This network enables better disaster response and water management, but also contributes to greater liveability and connectedness across the community at large.
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3. South San Francisco residents dropped into the community space we established in an empty former bank. They left comments and ideas on the map over the period of the design stage. © Hassell+
This shopfront became the place to learn about the project, chat with the designers, hear from community partners and talk to city and county officials.
Planning a stronger regional structure – together To ensure the South City proposal truly reflected local needs and aspirations, the design team drew heavily from community voices – transforming a local bank, that had been vacant for decades, into a community meeting place, design hub, education centre and display space. This ‘Resilient South City’ shopfront became the place to learn about the project, chat with the designers, hear from community partners and talk to city and county officials. A virtual presence was also established to reach an audience beyond the shopfront, including a ‘Resilient South City’ Facebook page, YouTube video and Instagram presence for sharing images and ideas. Through all of these interactions with the community and stakeholders – as well as the extensive research, mapping, analysis and site visits – a picture emerged of the key issues facing South San Francisco. These issues guided the resilience proposals for the region, as well as specific design proposals for the local area. Collectively, the team determined that public open space is critical to building resilience in four key areas: – Water – aside from managing water, reducing urban runoff and temperatures, it can also be used as a critical early warning mechanism by providing open green inundation areas that give visible signs to the community that flood waters are rising. – Ecology – public open space planted with species from the historic Colma Creek watershed would support the biodiversity needed to create native landscapes that are more resilient to extreme weather events and require less maintenance. – Community – social resilience is built by communities knowing one another, and so public open spaces and facilities are key. They host events like markets and sports, and support communities to live healthy lifestyles together. – Emergency – history shows that public open space is extremely
important in allowing communities to gather, organise and rebuild in times of disasters. They can become centres of shelter, or temporary hospitals and schools after major floods, earthquakes or fires.
A resilient design for South City The Resilient South City proposal identifies opportunity sites across the Colma Creek watershed to form a practical master plan and dynamic network of public places to support South City’s people and environment. Highlights include: – A wider, greener creek manages flooding and creates the right conditions for a sequence of new parks – A South City Circle Bridge serves as a walking and cycling gateway to all transport modes and makes a bold statement about community priorities – An ‘eco waterpark’ at a revamped water plant becomes a teaching tool and natural shoreline swimming pool – A native plant nursery helps control
flooding and treats runoff from the nearby highway to improve the quality of water flowing into the creek and bay – A ‘living levee’ (embankment) forms a wetland for restoring habitat and holding storm water during extreme high tides – Schools located on higher ground become hubs for water treatment and community recreation. Ultimately, the Bay Area Challenge has served as a call to action for the region to continue to work together and move the cause forward. The Resilient South City design concepts and a roadmap toward implementation were presented at The Resilient Bay Summit and are now publicly available at resilientbayarea.org online. The proposal was recognised for its “pragmatic and convincing focus on neighbourhood level interventions from the mountain to the bay.” Hassell+ has since received funding from the local government to develop creek flow and traffic modelling for several of the adaptation scenarios along Colma Creek.
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Capita and AECOM
Jubilee River Berkshire
By Jon Rooney and Clare Penny The long-term success of largescale infrastructure projects can only be realised with a commitment to long term management from the earliest stage. This is illustrated by the Environment Agency’s flagship 11.6km Jubilee River flood alleviation scheme. A key aspect of its success was the close partnership working between landscape architects and other professionals from the Environment Agency, consultants and contractors throughout the design and construction.
The scheme, which siphons flows from the River Thames to alleviate flooding around Windsor, Eton and Maidenhead, was completed in 2002. The naturalised channel is flanked by a network of diverse habitats including wetlands, grazing marshes, woodland and grassland and is lined by bridleways and footpaths. It is an exemplar in the creation of multifunctional green infrastructure, which makes the surrounding area more resilient to the impacts of climate change and contributes to the sequestration of carbon.
Challenges Budget constraints beyond initial establishment meant a novel approach was required for long term management. This site covers over 100ha, with many habitats in close proximity to water. Safety was major consideration and initial actions to address risks were prioritised. Containing and eradicating invasive non-native species (INNS), including Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) and
New Zealand pygmyweed (Crassula helmsii), was also a key challenge in the early stages of the project.
Achievements Capita AECOM has been managing the Jubilee River since 2015, working alongside specialist ecological contractor Ecosulis, to deliver upon the objectives of the 25-year Landscape Management Plan. A programme was developed to gradually enhance the Jubilee River’s habitats, supported by digital technologies. The team developed a bespoke GIS-based monitoring system, which divided the site into habitat parcels. This led to quicker response times by identifying works onsite and reporting using handheld devices. The system also allows the history of each parcel to be recalled at the touch of a button. This assisted with monitoring progress and forward planning. Fieldwork was complemented by drone surveys, which provided aerial views of areas inaccessible on foot, and mapped changes associated with drought
1. Whilst governments and organisations work towards ‘net zero’ targets, we must respond to the impacts of the climate emergency today – building large infrastructure that can cope with increased temperatures, higher rainfall and prolonged drought. Credit: AECOM
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2. The Dorney Wetlands from above, captured by drone. Credit: AECOM
3. The Jubilee River has also become an important recreational resource, connecting people with nature. Credit: AECOM
Fieldwork was complemented by drone surveys, which provided aerial views of areas inaccesÂ sible on foot, and mapped changes associated withÂ drought conditions in 2018
conditions in 2018. This supported a control strategy to address INNS which avoided chemical treatment and has successfully prevented spread. This was achieved by cyclical removal of Himalayan Balsam prior to seeding over successive seasons and implementing biosecurity measures when working in areas with New Zealand pygmy weed, which included wash-down areas for boots and tools.
Ways in which the project addressed climate emergency A commitment to addressing the climate emergency had a huge influence on the management approach for the Jubilee. A cyclical approach to woodland thinning has helped to conserve habitats and prevent soil erosion, which enables the flood channel to act as a more effective carbon store. The amount of green waste sent to landfill has been reduced by mulching and spreading in suitable locations and by creating
habitat piles. As a result, the landscape of the Jubilee River is thriving, with its habitats supporting an increasing number of native species. The Jubilee River is an exemplar for further flood alleviation schemes near Oxford and downstream between
Datchet and Teddington. The same integrated approach is being applied here and major opportunities exist to provide sustainable outcomes, but with even greater emphasis on taking account of carbon impacts and the potential for carbon offsetting.
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1. Construction of Carno Embankment: Aerial photo.
ACP(UK) Ltd, Cardiff
A465 Heads of the Valleys Dualling Section 3 Brynmawr to Tredegar By Jo Wall, Lee Jones and Luci Clark This award-winning scheme forms an important component of the 40 km long A465 Heads of the Valleys road improvements from Abergavenny to Neath: a key driver for the economic regeneration of the former coalfield communities. This section is 7.8 km in length of which 2.8 km comprises online widening of the existing road and 5 km is offline, predominantly across open moorland and the remnants of the coal industry. The project was a contractorled Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) NEC contract scheme1 which commenced in 2010, it was constructed between 2013 – 2015 and the aftercare is programmed to finish in 2021. The project team were set challenging objectives for the delivery of the scheme to make a positive impact on the economic, social and environmental life of the local valley communities and Wales as a whole.
The Scheme The scheme delivered a sustainable major infrastructure project within a sensitive legal framework established by Brecon Beacons National Park, Usk Bats Sites Special Area of Conservation (SAC), the industrial landscape associated with Blaenavon World Heritage Site, Dukestown Cemetery and common land on time and to budget and in close collaboration with stakeholders and local communities.
1 A 29m high reinforced earth embankment replaced a viaduct crossing of the River Ebbw incorporating over 800,000m3 excess spoil. Through careful design the “front” of the embankment was integrated into the valley landscape. This included the use of soil retention systems and the translocation of scree from adjacent side slopes which further integrated the earth works. The creation of the embankment enabled construction of a new cycleway across the Ebbw valley, which ties in with the local network of paths and cycle routes at the Garn Lydan rest area and viewpoint.
Addressing the Challenges Good communication throughout the team, effective design and resilient programming were essential to delivering this award-winning scheme. The horizontal and vertical alignment was designed to fit the local landscape. Sensitive earth modelling, planting and use of local landscape features such as dry stone walling were incorporated into the design to soften the scheme. The team worked closely with Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (BBNPA) and Blaenau Gwent local authority, to agree in detail how the National Park would be sensitively screened. Planting for the scheme was carefully designed reflecting local plant communities, microclimate, altitude, climate change and opportunities for adaptation. The design and species mixes addressed lessons learnt and softened the visual impact of adjacent projects where monocrop plantations were subject to tree diseases and slow growing, severely stunted native species were unable to adapt to the exposure and altitude. A detailed landscape strategy was developed as part of the Environmental Statement which outlined the approach to the
design for mitigation planting across each of the distinctive landscape character areas through which the scheme passed from the Clydach Gorge to the east, the highest point of the A465 corridor adjacent to the Blaen y Cym reservoir, a short section through an industrial estate, and a grazed upland moorland landscape crossing three river valleys. Plant species were chosen based on a palette of existing planting of local provenance supplemented by specifically chosen species which would replace the prevalent ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and adapt well to the locality. Tree and shrub planting focussed in the valley areas where the growing conditions and microclimate was more favourable, although it was also used for essential screening where earth modelling was not possible and for habitat connectivity and ecological mitigation. Species-rich grassland mixes and hardy scrub planting featured on the open moorland. Critical to the overall effectiveness of the planting was the use of soil enrichment measures. The low quality, sparse, upland soils were enhanced with over 18 cubic metres of mulched vegetation from site clearance. Site-won peat was used to improve the growing medium for
https://www. neccontract.com/ECI 1
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2. Community engagement: Georgetown school project. © Carillion
3. Ecological mitigation: lapwing. © TACP
Thanks to listening to people and showing interest in their concerns as well as the good consulta tion and twoway dialogue. The design has been improved by listening to people
46 plots covering over 50,000m2 and over 60,000m3 of topsoil was stripped, stored and reused for planting. The road passes the highest point on the A465 corridor (417 metres AOD). The opportunity to create a gateway to the Brecon Beacons National Park to the north and the Valleys Regional Park to the south was designed to include a rest area, viewpoint and associated parking. This now forms the start of the Ebbw Fach trail. The detrunked section was partially remodelled to include an additional shared use path which, together with traffic calming measures and planting, linked the 5km of scheme cycleway into the wider local Active Travel network.
Achievements The scheme is an exemplar of good quality collaborative design and construction, two-way dialogue with key stakeholders, local communities, residents and elected members and a proactive approach to problem solving. This is recognised in the number and variety of awards achieved which include the ICE George Gibby Award for Major Projects; Constructing Excellence Value Award; CEEQUAL
Outstanding; Welsh Government Seren Award for Stakeholder Engagement and CITB Construction Ambassadors Employer of the Year Award. It set standards for employing apprentices, organising training and contributing to projects with local schools and community projects. This is exemplified by the comments from Tredegar Town Council.”Thanks to listening to people and showing interest in their concerns as well as the good consultation and twoway dialogue. The design has been improved by listening to people”.
Climate Emergency The scheme addressed the climate emergency through a variety of methods, underpinned by the lifecycle assessment and the commitment to CEEQUAL, the evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme for civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and public realm. In the design of structures, concrete was replaced with weathering steel, the drainage was designed for 1:1000 flood levels and the scheme overall provided greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Key to the construction phase was
3 Ecological mitigation included a 2:1 approach to woodland planting. Five bat roost chambers complemented a wider strategy relating to the Usk Bats Sites Special Area of Conservation (SAC). TACP worked closely with BGCBC and the RSPB in developing receptor sites for reptiles and the provision of 10 hectares of foraging and nesting habitats for lapwings. Monitoring has confirmed their breeding presence on site and there is also increased skylark activity. This habitat now forms part of the Welsh Government Lapwing Strategy as the main breeding/foraging location within Wales.
the reuse of site won materials and creating an earthworks balance across the scheme. Vegetation cleared was used for mulch, hibernacula or biomass. Embankments through the agricultural and common land were regraded, seeded and returned to agriculture, minimising the loss of valuable pasture. Carbon sequestration was implemented through a 2:1 replacement ratio: providing 13ha of woodland, 37ha of grassland and the retention of local peatlands.
2 Raising awareness of the natural environment was key to public engagement on the scheme, this included: – Schools planting: TACP worked collaboratively with local schools providing support to community tree planting and wildflower seed growing sessions – Pollinators: working with BGCBC TACP specified annual wildflower seed mixes on temporary soil stockpiles and works – Community action: the pond dipping platform and a number of bird and bat boxes were produced by carpentry trainees – 2014 ‘Go Wild!’ event at Bryn Bach Park in Tredegar, the largest biodiversity event of its kind in south Wales, with over 2000 visitors.
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AMW and Highways England
A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down Wiltshire
By AECOM Landscape Architecture The A303/A358 corridor is a vital connection between the south west and the south east. While most of the road is now dual carriageway, there are still over 35 miles (56km) of single carriageway. These sections act as bottlenecks for users of the route resulting in congestion, particularly in the summer months and at weekends. This causes delays to traffic travelling between the M3 in the
South East and the M5 in the South West and increases the risk of accidents. The Project is part of a wider package of proposals for the A303/ A30/A358 corridor designed to transform connectivity to and from the South West by creating a high-quality dual carriageway along the corridor, having been identified in the 20162021 National Infrastructure Delivery Plan as one of the country’s top five projects or programmes for delivery within the road sector. Four objectives for the Project have been formulated both to address identified problems and to take advantage of the opportunities that new infrastructure would provide: 1) Transport – creating a high quality reliable route between the South East and the South West that meets the future needs of traffic 2) Economic growth – enabling growth in jobs and housing by providing a free-flowing and reliable connection between the South East and the South West; 3) Cultural heritage – helping to conserve and enhance the World Heritage Site and making it easier to reach and explore
4) Environment and community – improving biodiversity and providing a positive legacy for nearby communities.
Challenges The Project provides a unique opportunity for the enhancement of the internationally recognised landscape of Stonehenge and its visitor experience, as well as that of local communities. The Project presents a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to respond to the sensitivities and challenges of this landscape and demonstrate imaginative and exemplar design as part of a collaborative approach between the appointed contractors, stakeholders and Highways England, including improving resilience to climate change. The UK Government Strategy ‘Road to Zero’ sets out a route map for the UK to move towards lower carbon road transportation. As the government body tasked with operating, maintaining and modernising England’s motorways and major A-roads, Highways England has an important role to play in helping the Government meet their commitments for minimising greenhouse gas emissions.
1. Illustrative view across part of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site, with vehicles no longer present due to the proposed tunnel. The existing A303 would become a restricted byway, enabling additional recreational routes within the WHS. © Highways England
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2. The Project will reuse around 1 million cubic metres of excavated material from the tunnel to create over 100 hectares of chalk grassland. This will enable chalk grassland species to spread to other sites in the area, increasing their sustainability and connection to national nature reserves by providing ‘stepping stones’ of suitable habitat, aided by green bridges across the new road. © Highways England
The Project provides a unique opportunity for the enhancement of the internationally recognised landscape of Stonehenge and its visitor experience, as well as that of local communities
Achievements The project will achieve a new two lane dual carriageway (four lanes) between Amesbury and Berwick Down, including four “green” bridges, 3.3km of tunnel within the World Heritage Site (WHS) past Stonehenge and the conversion of the existing A303 within the WHS to a restricted byway to increase recreational opportunities. The Project will reuse around 1 million cubic metres of excavated material from the tunnel to create over 100 hectares of chalk grassland. This will enable chalk grassland species to spread to other sites in the area, increasing their sustainability and connection to national nature reserves by providing ‘stepping stones’ of suitable habitat. This has the potential to aid dispersal and connectivity of habitats and metapopulations of species at a landscape scale. In combination with the wildflower grassland along the green bridges, the Project will achieve new connectivity and habitat links across the landscape. The creation of new habitat will assist in the realisation of Highways England’s commitments to identify works that will halt the loss of biodiversity and contribute to restoration areas such as Nature Improvement Areas, as part of its 2017 Environment Strategy and contribute
towards the Government’s aims detailed within its Biodiversity 2020 strategy.
Ways in which the project addressed climate emergency The Project will be designed to improve its resilience to climate change through a range of design and material specification measures, including the use of construction materials with superior properties, such as increased tolerance to fluctuating temperatures, to ensure that materials are of the highest specification. The Project will incorporate current road design standards (including Highways England’s Carbon Tool to monitor and report carbon emissions during construction) and future climate change allowances, along with intelligent road technology and emergency systems for road users. The Project will use recycled or secondary materials, materials with lower embedded greenhouse gas emission and water consumption. Where possible, materials will be locally sourced, reclaimed, recycled and have low carbon impact, such that materials should be durable and age well across the lifecycle of the Project. Drainage runoff from the carriageway will be conveyed to infiltration ponds
for treatment as part of a Sustainable Drainage System strategy. A range of measures will be in place to improve the resilience of the Project to climate change during operation. Examples include maintenance plans for drainage systems to operate effectively and emergency systems to assist road users incorporating variable message signs (VMS). Highways England is also committed to reducing the operational emissions over the entire strategic national network, as well as on individual projects. They are undertaking feasibility studies across the network to reduce carbon emissions and are investing in renewable energy technology. This includes using renewable energy solar farms to support the energy requirements of road tunnels and developing photovoltaic noise barriers to power signage, cameras and roadside detectors. Highways England is also reducing the emissions of buildings and pursuing improved depot efficiencies as part of a depot greening programme, including fitting solar panels and using LED task lighting. These improvements will further decrease the greenhouse gas emissions of the road network as a whole in support of the Government’s strategy.
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A27 Arundel Bypass Arundel, West Sussex By Veronica Craddock
History of the project Arundel town is an historic and picturesque settlement located on the western valley side of the River Arun, where the river cuts through the chalk ridge of the South Downs. Famous for its castle, the town occupies a commanding position overlooking the wide river flood plain which stretches south across the coastal plain, entering the sea at Littlehampton. Arundel was a thriving river port until the beginning of the 20th century, when the port succumbed to the success of the railway network. The Arundel Bypass scheme has been suggested for many years. Previous attempts to overcome the significant environmental issues associated with road building through the exceptional landscape surrounding Arundel have been unsuccessful. The A27 dual carriageway exists to both the east and west of the town, but the section through Arundel remains a single carriageway road, which is
subject to traffic bottlenecks and delays during peak times.
Challenges The Arun river valley has a complex range of flooding potential from fluvial, pluvial and tidal waters. The valley sits in the coastal plain where impacts from climate change are likely to be significant through sea level rise, surface water impacts due to extreme weather and the tidal river combined. The Arundel bypass route options are all within a landscape of significant structural variety which combines the porous chalk ridge of the South Downs, the Arun river valley, the river flood plain, upper coastal plain and the coastal plain itself. These are vastly differing landscape character types which converge around Arundel and contribute to its unique setting but also present significant design challenges, in particular for the 2.4km valley crossing. The assemblage of key, priority and protected habitats range from ghyll and shaw woodlands, wooded chalk streams, water meadows, wet woodland, veteran trees, ancient woodland, and wet hedges (innings), together with the upstream Arun Valley SPA, SAC and Ramsar site. Above all, in this location it is the connectivity of these habitats to each other which has led to the extraordinarily high levels of biodiversity and conglomeration of species. Nature is doing things around
Arundel that has not been previously observed. Elsewhere species are using/coping with what is available to them in the often-denuded habitats of the UK, but given the opportunity, as they are around Arundel, nature can behave in unknown or forgotten ways – because the opportunities remain. All of the route options include an 8m high embankment to carry the dual carriageway across the river valley. The longest embankment option is 2.4km long. The flood capacity of the river valley would be reduced by the footprint and volume of the embankment and to ensure there is no increased flood risk upstream compensatory flood storage will be required. It is expected that this will be within the river valley within the National Park to the north as part of the scheme. It is likely that these flood storage areas will need to be provided before work on the proposed embankment commences. There is an opportunity for the scheme to take its inspiration from the landscape itself and create green engineering solutions to these issues which reach out into the surrounding landscape. Operating beyond a traditional ‘red line’ approach, this could achieve landscape scale interventions which support ecosystem services and provide for future climate change adaptation and mitigation.
1. View from Arundel Castle keep, overlooking the river Arun floodplain towards the coast at Littlehampton. The embankment for the A27 bypass would cross the floodplain left to right.
There is an opportunity for the scheme to take its inspiration from the landscape itself and create green engineering solutions to these issues which reach out into the surrounding landscape
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2 2. ‘The proposed construction of the A27 Arundel bypass has implications for the management of flood risk to people and properties in Arundel and in the valley generally and discussions need to take place with Highways England to ensure that this is taken into account as more detailed plans are developed’ © ‘Vision for the Arun Valley’ 2019 – The Arun Valley Vision Group
https://www.gov. uk/government/ publications/ the-road-to-gooddesign-highwaysenglands-designvision-and-principles 1
The issue of compensatory plantings for the loss of ancient woodland is also complex, and echoes the land use issues with planting for nitrate neutrality. Replacement planting could extend to many of hectares of new woodland which cannot be accommodated within the flood plain of the river due to potential flood capacity issues. The South Downs National Park to the north is already heavily wooded. New woodland planting may therefore need to be accommodated on agricultural land with the resulting loss of food/fodder/ grazing production and the habitats found in such terrain. There may be opportunities for new woodland to provide natural flood management functions at a catchment level if the right areas of land could be secured. These potential land use changes spring from the road proposals, but are also intrinsically linked to climate
change adaptation and mitigation measures for the area. They add weight to the drivers for a landscape scale/landscape led approach to this scheme, where difficult choices about ecosystem services need to be made. There could be potential advantages to a range of ecosystem services if the required compensatory measures are designed as a whole system, rather than separating the issues. As with nature, the total could be greater than the sum of the parts. The South Downs National Park Authority, Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission have jointly produced a single voice letter in response to the Highways England consultation, to propose that a landscape led approach for the scheme should be adopted as a matter of urgency. These environmental bodies look with interest to the scheme for the
A417 in the Cotswolds AONB, where Highways England have appointed environmental master planners to develop a landscape led approach. It is hoped that this approach will be developed further at Arundel to develop a scheme which is in the spirit of the ‘Road to good design1’, Highways England’s own design guide. This publication advocates for road design which makes ‘an important contribution to the conservation and enhancement of the natural, built and historic environment….. It is multifunctional, resilient and sustainable, allowing for future adaptation and technical requirements, whilst minimising waste and the need for new materials’. If this can all be achieved with the scheme proposed for Arundel it will truly be an exemplar project worthy of its location.
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Central London Streets: Places for People Central London
By Sophie Thompson In many places, twenty first century London feels better than most of us have experienced in our lifetimes. Much of the credit should go to reclaiming road space. In inner London, no less than a quarter of that space has been reallocated to walking, cycling and public transport during the last 15 years. But the city is only lying in the recovery position. We still need to make streets in London and across the UK feel like proper places again. Post WWII, urbanists ceded control of street design to the newly created class of traffic engineers. Streets became governed by fixed highway rules set in place to speed as many motor vehicles as possible through. There is a 60-year legacy to reverse. Streets should be our most democratic public spaces, making visible the things we value. Carcentric planning brought a raft of bad societal outcomes: environmental damage and a crisis of inactivity. When streets become highways, public life disappears. Local trade declines, town centres become unattractive and unsafe. Barriers are created and communities suffer. Now traffic engineers in enlightened local authorities are part of a big move to remedy the situation. The ‘Healthy Streets’ approach1 provides the opportunity for ambitious transformation of public space and quality of life. It responds to the urgent need to reduce exposure to traffic
pollution and danger, build activity into daily routine through walking and cycling, and design public realm to benefit mental health. As traffic is reduced and slowed, inclusive neighbourhoods can emerge, reconnecting people to place, and taking advantage of the change in street function away from traditional retail towards more service-oriented businesses and communityfocused hubs. The London Borough of Camden believes streets can become the new antidote to pressing problems, from climate breakdown to loneliness. They have commissioned strategies from LDA Design for urban realm in their key commercial districts and conservation areas, including Holborn, Kings Cross, Farringdon and Seven Dials. The strategies address issues such as cycle and pedestrian safety and the health and wellbeing of residents and workers. Kevin Stears, Major Projects Programme Manager for the West End Project and Holborn Public Realm, says their ambition is to shift the balance from cars to people. “We want to make the streets cleaner, greener and safer. This is key to Camden’s work in reducing air pollution.” The Council has also recognised the need to strengthen
the character and identity of places facing change and intensification, whether that is from Crossrail or from the development of sites such as the old Central St Martins, and the expansion of Great Ormond Street Hospital. The radical West End Project, the work of Camden, LDA Design and DSDHA Architects, is prioritising the pedestrian and cyclist experience in central London. With an investment of £35m, it is the largest council-led transformational scheme the borough has ever seen. A key milestone in this project was achieved when Tottenham Court Road reverted to being two-way in 2019, undoing an unpopular one-way system in place since the 1960s. This move will help to reduce congestion, improve air quality and provide for a more efficient bus service. There are also dramatic neighbourhood improvements. Alfred Place, for example, will become the first new park here in 100 years. Lounging lawns and a meandering sculptural seat will make it hard to remember this was once a place for cars. There will be clear and inviting entrances, rich planting and climbing structures for incidental play. It takes imagination to see the
1. A participatory design process. © LDA Design
We want to make the streets cleaner, greener and safer. This is key to Camden’s work in reducing air pollution
http://content.tfl.gov.uk/ healthy-streets-for-london. pdf 1
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All pictures © LDA Design
Camden Council received over a thousand responses to the participatory design process which led to the changes proposed in the West End Project. The West End Project covers an area from Euston Road, near Warren Street, down to Shaftesbury Avenue. On this pinboard, people described how they experience the area, from gritty, unsafe and loud, to quiet and beautiful. Before: Alfred Place, parallel to Tottenham Court Road, is currently a place for cars. After: Alfred Place will be transformed into a green space to provide an oasis of calm, with places for children to play and lawns to relax on and a meandering sculptural seat. The planting scheme will create a haven for wildlife and year-round interest.
Before: Earlham Street West in Covent Garden radiates from the landmark Sundial Pillar in Seven Dials towards Charing Cross Road and it was previously dominated by car and motorcycle parking. After: the 17th century street has already undergone a simple and elegant transformation to rebalance place and movement. Broader pavements provide spaces for pop-up events, seating and planting.
Before: this site on Museum Street in Holborn was a nowhere place. After: the site is now a flexible “meanwhile” space with bin sheds hidden, new seating and planting and a handsome mural.
Before: Princes Circus, Shaftesbury Avenue, is an uninviting pedestrian route between Covent Garden and the British Museum. After: Princes Circus will become a tranquil public square. The great London plane trees there will be celebrated as part of a ‘woodland glade’ with shady fern gardens and attractive lighting. This will become a sociable place too, with new outdoor cafés and peaceful places to sit.
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potential in marginalised or leftover space, but junctions can often be reclaimed. Four pocket parks will be created along Tottenham Court Road, with simple planting, comfortable seats and occasional kiosks. The cherished local space of Whitfield Gardens (opposite Heals) is currently blighted by anti-social behaviour, but a reconfigured layout and diverse planting will create an inviting place for residents and for workers to ‘lunch and linger’. Heading south, the section of Shaftesbury Avenue at Princes Circus will make way for a tranquil public square, the missing link for what could be an inviting route between Covent Garden and the British Museum. The great London plane trees will be celebrated as part of a ‘woodland glade’ with shady fern gardens and attractive illumination. This will become a social place too, with new outdoor cafés and integrated seating. In nearby Covent Garden, Earlham Street West is a 17th century street that already feels like the future. Radiating from the landmark Sundial Pillar in Seven Dials towards Soho, it was previously dominated by car and motorcycle parking. The street
has undergone a simple and elegant transformation to rebalance place and movement. A new configuration of the street market, high quality materials and broader pavements provide spaces for pop-up events, seating and planting. Retailers have reported an improved sense of community and an increase in footfall and dwell time. Camden has a transformational plan ahead for Holborn, to match the measures being implemented for the West End Project. Holborn has long suffered from the most congested and heavily trafficked streets in central London, including a gyratory, and has been notoriously dangerous for cyclists. The area is so short of good quality urban spaces and green infrastructure that across 38 hectares, an LDA Design survey found just eleven benches. Protected cycle routes will be introduced in a suite of public realm improvements which will increase permeability and sociability. In Westminster, LDA Design is taking the Healthy Streets approach to Strand-Aldwych, reconceiving the road as a public space. Proposals include removing traffic along a 200-metre stretch of the Strand south of Aldwych.
The Grade I* listed church St Mary Le Strand will be set in a beautiful plaza sanctuary. Free from traffic, the public realm can finally respond to the collective creativity of the extraordinary institutions based there, which include Somerset House, King’s College, the LSE and the Courtauld Institute of Art. The design also takes advantage of technological progress, with digital navigation and storytelling to involve people with the history of the area. In Strand-Aldwych, the hardness of the street will be softened. Westminster wants the place to become as green as possible, while minimising maintenance and maximising passive surveillance. Lawn introduces a more human scale at ground level and makes for a comfortable place to sit to watch performances, or chat. In a space that for centuries has never yielded underfoot, this feels a pioneering move. It changes the pace, slows people in their tracks. Who knows, one day you might find yourself lying in the Strand with a picnic by your side, listening to bird song and looking up at the sky.
1. Inspecting root condition and root collar diameter
Procurement of plants for HS2 Phase 1, London to Birmingham By Jon Rooney
History of the project High Speed 2 (HS2) is an ambitious new railway line, which will connect the city centres of London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. Construction is planned in two phases, with the first section between London and Birmingham
due to open in 2026. This will reduce journey times between the two cities to just 45 minutes. Landscape professionals employed by HS2 and from numerous practices are leading on many aspects of the
scheme. AECOM has been involved with the project since 2012, when the Secretary of State for Transport confirmed that the project would go ahead. Initially this included supporting the EIA process and preparing a
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2. Quality control, before lifting. Crowders Nurseries, Lincolnshire. © AECOM
Landscape Design Approach with Arup, which was highly commended at the Landscape Institute Awards in 2017. This document advocated a design response informed by character, which delivers the widest range of benefits. It includes the promotion of extensive areas of woodland to help integrate the scheme into the landscape and deliver on global challenges, including climate change.
Over the past three seasons, over 600,000 plants have been successfully delivered to site, with no biosecurity issues identified.
As the design progressed, HS2 calculated that up to 7 million trees and shrubs would be required for Phase 1 of the project. The project is of such a large scale that multiple contractors are needed for the enabling works and main construction. This means that plant stock will be required at different times in an overall construction programme that stretches over a considerable time period (some 15 years). To achieve consistent quality across the scheme, HS2 developed a plant material specification. In 2016 they let a contract to Crowders Nurseries to grow the plants, which are then provided to contractors for planting. One of the key reasons that Crowders was selected was because they follow best practice in bio-security and plant quarantining, to minimise the risk of spreading disease.
Achievements AECOM was appointed in 2017 to independently assess and report on the quality of plants against the specification. This role includes monitoring adherence of biosecurity measures and provenance through regular nursery inspections and oversight of the detailed contract growing database. The design for Advanced Planting and Habitat Creation sites was developed in 2016 to enable a Growing Instruction for Year 1 (2017/18 season) and Year 2 (2018/19 season) stock to be placed as the Early Works Contracts were not yet in place. This was critical to delivery of the plant material as the design needs to be fixed before orders can be placed. Certainty of delivery in the planned season is also critical is it
is often not practical to ‘hold over’ for additional seasons in large quantities. Learning from the first two planting seasons led to some standardisation of sizes for the Year 3 (2019/20 season). Cell and container grown stock for species including Oak and Blackthorn has also contributed to better establishment for these species. The establishment of plants of non-regional provenance, such as holly and oak has not been as successful and therefore it has been necessary to procure more seed to grow the same quantity as regional stock. This is being monitored but it is possible that certain species from seed from southern latitudes are not viable. All plants have been grown from seed in the UK at Crowders nurseries in Lincolnshire, reducing biosecurity risks for importing nursery stock. A method statement outlining the approach to plant health, disease and pest resistance establishes where plants will be grown in the nursery, how they will be labelled and how an outbreak of disease would be identified, contained and addressed. Over the past three seasons, over 600,000 plants have been successfully delivered to site, with no biosecurity issues identified. The plants are also inspected on arrival based on a randomly selected sample. Plants are checked for signs of pests, disease or poor health, size and root collar diameter. The results of these inspections are recorded electronically in the field, also noting the condition of packaging and adequacy of paperwork After this they are handed over to landscape contractors for planting.
Ways in which the project addressed climate emergency Climate change predictions and biosecurity risks were addressed through a detailed plant procurement strategy. This document ,drew on advice from Natural England and the Forestry Commission, who advised that seed should be collected a broader range of provenance zones to maximise resilience. These zones extend from the site, through 2° south and up to 5° south of the growing site, collecting seed from plants adapted to the warmer climate of southern England and northern France. The genetic base is increased further by collecting seed from a variety of trees of each species, including qualified and tested stands. Acquiring seed in sufficient quantities from the environment has sometimes been a challenge as tree seed production varies from season to season. The hot, dry summers of recent years, for example, have resulted in an abundance of acorns, which tend to be smaller and with reduced viability. Overall the specification has been met, but has required occasional substitutions. All woodland planting and its management will be compliant with the requirements and guidelines of the UK Forestry Standard, which sets out the UK governments approach to sustainable forest management (https://www.gov.co.uk/government/ publications/the-uk-forestry-standard).
By Louise Wyman
Landscape architects at the heart of infrastructure delivery In January 2020, West Midlands Combined Authority launched its Design Charter. Louise Wyman, Design and Inclusive Growth Lead, explains its significance. Q: Why are we seeing Landscape Architects lead on design and regional devolution? Landscape architects are trained in the art of reading the land, gathering geographic data, testing environmental research and producing analysis and design ideas that help clients evaluate site opportunities. Our skill is to help others see the big picture and engage in the wonderful complexity of designing for the future. Creativity is at the heart of our practice. Reflecting on a career as a landscape architect and chartered surveyor I’ve realised that what motivates me is collaborating with people in places that want progressive change. It’s energising to work with people who want to design a better future for their communities. Spending time understanding local economics, ecologies and environmental challenges, while preparing plans that redesign places for future generations is a real privilege. Landscape architects across the globe are responding actively to the climate emergency and the regional devolution context. Sir David Attenborough’s call to action at the Landscape Institute Awards 2019 was a great inspiration. From a Midlands perspective I’m delighted to collaborate with Jane Findlay founder of Birmingham based Fira Landscape as she prepares to be the LI’s President later this year. 60
1. Map of the WMCA area of responsibility. © Based on a design by WMCA
Walsall Sutton Coldfield
Strategic Centres Local Authority Boundary
Q: How are designers shaping the future environment in England? In April 2019 I was seconded from Homes England, where I’d been Director of Strategy & Engagement, to the West Midlands Combined Authority, chaired by Mayor Andy Street. Mayor Street declared his ambition for a regional Design Charter and my job for the past year has been to make this ambition a reality. On 23 January 2020 a group of designers, developers and cultural organisations launched West Midlands Design Charter1 in Birmingham
(hyperlink to WMDC) The same day WMCA published a consultation paper titled: #WM2041 setting out West Midlands’ ambitions for a decarbonised future. In Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram has appointed Paul Monaghan Founding Director of AHMM Architects as his design champion. Working with Paul we plan to grow a network of design leads across the eight regional Mayors, to share thinking on how to embed strategic design practice and environmental responsibility at the heart of regional devolution deals.
https://www.wmca. org.uk/news/charterlaunched-to-championgood-design-in-thewest-midlands/ 1
2. Launch of the West Midlands Design Charter, 3. West Midlands Design Charter.
Q: What role have landscape architects played on the National Infrastructure Commission’s Design Group? In parallel with design work across city regions and Combined Authorities in May 2019 the National Infrastructure Commission appointed a Design Group, Chaired by the architect Sadie Morgan. This group of 10 built environment professionals with different professional backgrounds has been a rich source of new ideas for design in the context of infrastructure delivery. Andrew Grant founder of Grant Associates and I are the landscape architects in this group. On 5 February 2020 the National Infrastructure Commission published Design Principles for National Infrastructure2. Watch this space for more news from the Design Group during 2020.
Q: What next for Mayor Andy Street’s WM Design Charter and WM2041?
https://www.nic.org. uk/publications/designprinciples-for-nationalinfrastructure/ 2
Having launched WM Design Charter and WM2041 the big challenge now is implementation and making progressive change visible and engaging across a region. Here are a few initiatives we’ll champion in the 2020s:
1. West Midlands National Park. WMCA are collaborating with Kathryn Moore, Birmingham City University, Landscape Institute, Design Council, NHS England, Sport England, Natural England and regional partners to develop an initiative for a new National Park. This is a big ambition which may begin as a series of green and blue infrastructure projects. We’re even talking about a Digbeth High Line design competition. Alongside providing new spaces for wildlife, sport and recreation, we see new urban parks, footpaths and bike trails as central to the wellbeing of our diverse communities. We’re proud to be hosting the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 and want to show a global audience all the wonderful open spaces West Midlands offers. 2. Modular landscape and excellence in modular construction. The West Midlands has the fastest growing GDP outside London. Birmingham has more start-up businesses than any other UK city. Construction and regeneration are core industries, However, as we build our future we plan to do so in a responsible way, using modular construction, renewable materials, zero carbon energy sources while minimising construction waste.
We welcome businesses and creative industries that share this ambition and want sustainable modular construction to thrive in our geography. We’ve been exploring ideas around modular landscapes – all responses welcome! 3. Providing excellent public transport to minimise car traffic. Transport West Midlands is central to WMCA’s activity and is providing our region with new rail stations, fuel efficient trains, trams, clean buses, cycle paths and canal trails. New world class public transport systems as an efficient and enjoyable alternative to car use. We invite all practitioners who share our mission of responsible inclusive growth to bring your ideas and businesses to the West Midlands, we’d love to hear from you.
Policy By Theo Plowman
Environment Bill returns
n the 30th January, the Environment Bill was reintroduced to Parliament, with the UK leaving the EU the Government aims to protect and enhance our environment with the measures outlined in it. The Bill was initially brought before the House of Commons in October, but was delayed due to Brexit and the General Election. The first reading was on the 30th January with DEFRA releasing a policy paper alongside it1. Upon leaving the EU there will be environmental ‘governance gap’ where the EU standards and measures will need replacing. At its core, the Bill aims to ensure that key environmental principles are maintained, these include measures to tackle air pollution, meet net zero carbon commitments by 2050 and restore and enhance nature. When first presented last year, the Bill included these measures: New Green Watchdog The Office for Environmental Protection (“OEP”) is to be created, to hold government to account on environmental law and its Environmental Improvement Plan after the UK leaves the EU. The proposed body will have recourse through a new kind of legal instrument, an ‘environmental review’,that can force public authorities to take action if a court finds they have failed to meet environmental standards. The body will also examine the worth of new environmental policies and investigate potential breaches. Environmental issues to be enshrined in law As part of a new environmental governance system, the Bill outlines requirements for legally binding targets on air, water quality, biodiversity, and waste efficiency. These new targets replace the existing EU framework, which the UK has frequently failed to match, finding itself in court in May 2018 for failing to deliver on air quality improvements, for example the OEP will need to have strong legal clout to enforce similar measures.
The principle of biodiversity gain will be given a statutory footing If enacted, the Bill enacts the principle of biodiversity net gain into law, which would require a developer to offset and improve the value of natural habitat that is damaged or destroyed as a result of development. Biodiversity net gain applies to almost all development in England with 10% net gain to be achieved though a structured plan. National infrastructure projects covered by the Planning Act 2008, some small developments not requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment, or those on brownfield land, will be exempt from the net gain policy. If a developer is unable to provide a 10% biodiversity gain in habitat creation, it must provide an offset on another piece of land or purchase conservation credits from the Secretary of State.
What’s new? Commitment to be an international leader in environmental protection The Bill includes a new pledge to create a two-yearly review of “significant developments in international legislation on the environment” that will then “factored into our Environmental Improvement Plan and environmental target setting process”. The aim of this is that the UK will remain at the very top of environmental protections. No commitment to non-regression The changes in the Boris Johnson’s renegotiation of the EU Withdrawal Agreement mean there is no obligation to uphold EU environmental standards, which was part of the “level playing fields” section. The Bill does not incorporate the full principle of no “watering down” or non-regression, but it is stipulated in DEFRA communications that the UK will be free to go above and beyond current rules. Lingering Concerns Will regression be halted? As stated above, there is no clear wording that ensures non-regression, simply the aforementioned requirement for the Secretary of State to review and report every two years on “developments in international environmental protection legislation”. This presumably is intended to maintain the UKs leading environmental standards, however, there is no requirement to align UK law with these “developments”. The Bill as it stands implies a level of scrutiny by the government, without going as far as outlining any method of tangible recourse. This is of course a concern and the Landscape Institute alongside the rest of the Environmental Policy Forum are continuing to press for a principle of non-regression from EU environmental standards.
https://www.gov. uk/government/ publications/ environment-bill-2020 1
Will the new green watchdog have teeth? The Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) will be the body holding the government to account, replacing the EU. Worryingly, the body still remains tied closely to the government and questions remain whether it will be able to bite the hand that feeds it, given that the We are calling for the Bill to have the following components: i. Be founded on a philosophy of nonregression from EU environmental standards – embedding environmental principles and protections that are at least as strong as we enjoyed as a member of the EU.
budget is set by the Secretary of State who is also in charge of appointing its leadership. There are some clauses within the Bill stating that the Secretary of State “must have regard to the need to protect its independence” which will hopefully act as a balance to any potential issues of impartiality.
Next Steps The Landscape Institute will continue to work with its partners in the Environmental Policy Forum and the Broadway Initiative to call on government to amend and improve the Bill.
ii. Outline a clear, robust target setting process, laying the framework for ambitious and clearly measurable legally binding targets in the key environmental areas of air pollution, water and biodiversity
and its ability to ensure government enacts appropriate policies
iii. Address current concerns over the independence of the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP)
iv. Fully implement a sustainability skills agenda, ensuring that young people are equipped with the knowledge and skills they and employers need in a greener, cleaner economy.
The Agriculture Bill and its impact on the environment
n January, the UK Government reintroduced the Agriculture Bill. The Bill sets out the UK’s approach to farming as it prepares to leave the European Union, replacing the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that the UK has been part of since 1973. Improving agriculture will be a key step towards net zero targets and nature recovery across the UK. It will also dictate how government spends money on land management, affecting everything from public access to water quality. With 70% of UK land managed for agriculture, it’s clear that any changes in this area will have huge consequences for people, place, and nature.
Agriculture Bill 2019-20 – First introduced to parliament on 12 September 2018
– Finished its progress through Public Bill Committee on 20 November 2018, but delayed due to Brexit – Reintroduced on 16 January 2020 by new Defra secretary Theresa Villiers – Second reading occurred 3 February 2020 – The ‘public money for public goods’ farm support system proposed by the Bill has not changed – The Bill also mandates the regular review of UK food security after Brexit New clauses on food production Under pressure from farming interest groups, the government has added provisions on food security and language encouraging subsidies ‘to encourage the production of food by producers… in an environmentally sustainable way’. There are some concerns about these additions. They may take
us closer to the dark days of CAP payments, which provided insufficient environmental outcomes: propping up unproductive farming methods that provided little public value from the land. The addition of such clauses places an emphasis on food production and waters down the original focus on environmental outcomes. Any new environmental watchdog will need to enforce ‘environmentally sustainable’ food production. Food production and environmental preservation are co-dependent; robust food production will rely on improved soil health, climate resilience and beneficial insect recovery. There are plenty of positives… The LI pushed for the principle of ‘public money for public goods’ in our initial consultation response and subsequent influencing activity, and it’s pleasing to see this upheld as a key
Policy part of the Bill. Subsidies for farmers should move towards the socio environmental goods they provide to the public and away from payments for the amount of land owned. This shift appears to be the direction of travel in current policy. The latest Committee on Climate Change report confirms the need to change the way we use land in the UK to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help meet our net zero target. Some of the public goods highlighted include managing land or water in a way that protects or improves the environment; supporting public access to the countryside; and – of particular interest to landscape managers – using land in a way that maintains, restores or enhances cultural and natural heritage. Importantly, the Bill includes soil quality as a vital public good – something that delivers both for food production and the environment. The LI has worked closely with DEFRA to ensure that new policy and legislation recognises the importance of soil.
If the principle of ‘public money for public goods’ is to have real meaning, we need to get serious about funding environmental outcomes. This means looking at causal effects and funding those with the greatest benefit. This shift away from the old system can’t happen overnight. It’s heartening to see that the 2021 start date for the seven year transition remains in the Bill. We can’t expect farmers to shoulder the dual burden of agricultural productivity and environmental enhancements alone. It is important that monetary support is available during this transition to help alter and improve agricultural practices. It may take years for a farmer of an unproductive area of land to shift to something that delivers environmental benefits instead of low productivity. DEFRA has committed to designing improved, fairer contracts with retailers, with powers to tackle supply chain unfairness which, if enacted, will provide some welcome relief. The lack of any powers to introduce and enforce a new regulatory
framework for farming and land management practices is a huge omission from the Bill. Such powers will be crucial if we are to expect high standards in the future. The forthcoming Environment Bill might flesh some of this out. With the EU watchdog gone a new, independent Office for Environmental Protection has been proposed – but it remains to be seen how effective it will be in imposing the heavy fines necessary to enforce standards. The changes to domestic policy on international trade in agriculture, and any future agreements, represent perhaps the biggest risk to the ambitions laid out in this document. The government must fully commit to ensuring high food production, social and environmental standards in any future trade agreements. We will be pressing the government to remain ambitious and ensure that both the Agriculture and Environment Bills deliver for people, place and nature.
Get involved in the new initiative aiming to breathe life back into England’s High Streets
igh streets and town centres have been the dynamic heart of our communities since the Middle Ages. There are over 9,000 towns in England and many more high streets, with just over 600 in London alone. In the last half a century, however, their nature has changed dramatically. A growing focus on retail has eroded the emphasis on interaction, entertainment, employment, and education. And now we’re experiencing an unprecedented decline in the fortunes of high street retail. The High Streets Task Force (HSTF) is a consortium of organisations helping revitalise
England’s high streets and town centres by providing training, guidance and data to the people who make them. The Task Force will build a register of experts, mentors and facilitators to provide direct support to local authorities and local communities. As one of four professional bodies responsible for recruiting experts for the programme, the Landscape Institute will be engaging directly with Fellows and Chartered members throughout April to contribute to this initiative. Look out for more information in the coming weeks on the LI website, newsletter and social media channels. highstreetstaskforce.org.uk
LIJ-HalfPage-2020.ai 1 27/01/2020 14:49:06
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Landscape T H E I N D U S T RY T R A D E S H O W
Tuesday 22 & Wednesday 23 September 2020
EXHIBITORS LANDSCAPE exhibitors include manufacturers and suppliers of everything from Stone, Paving and Aggregates to Living Plants, Trees & Turf, and Awnings, Canopies & Shades to Tools, Machinery & Shades. Our exhibitors provide; sculptures, planters, architectural iron work, CAD services & software, lighting, metalwork, irrigation and so much more!
VISITORS Our international visitors include; Landscape Architects, Designers & Contractors, Local Councils, Groundsmen & Parks Officers, Creative Directors, Garden Designers, Facilities Managers and Interior Designers.
Register for your free tickets to attend at www.landscapeshow.co.uk
The LANDSCAPE Show is supported by over 60 leading trade associations and media titles including Landscape Institute.
LI life: CPD and training
LI Campus – Learn from anywhere Watch educational content for landscape professionals, anytime, anywhere. LI Campus brings videos from CPD days, conferences and other events to your PC, Mac or mobile device.
ver the past year the LI has been developing LI Campus, a new service for members supporters and the wider profession, which brings together a brilliant range of materials. The LI is now keen to ensure that the sector benefits from a range of online services designed to offer support and learning.
CPD day presentations for the past two years include: – Digital integration and transformation – Public health and landscape – The NPPF – Empowering parks for the twenty first century – Healthy plants, healthy places – Natural capital
Key events include: – Valuing landscape conference – LI Awards 2019 with Sir David Attenborough – LI 90th birthday Festival of Ideas In addition to archive material, we will be offering a range of webinars from the LI, fellow professional bodies and supporters.
Explore LI campus: https://campus.landscapeinstitute.org
LI life: Climate emergency By Theo Plowman
Climate emergency update 1. Sustainable Development Goals.
n June 2019 the Landscape Institute declared a climate and biological diversity emergency. There were immediate commitments to change internal LI practice including updating LI travel policy and publication of a special edition of the journal focusing on the crisis.
Climate Panel and Options Paper Our response needed to be meaningful to tackle such a critical emergency. It was vital that we took a thorough and measured approach of how our profession could best respond, impacting not only on our own policy and practice but influencing wider change. It was clear that we didn’t have all the answers and it was therefore important to recruit an expert panel. This took place from September until October with 14 recruited, including 10 LI members and representation from the public sector, private sector and academia. The panel presented an options paper to the Board outlining the key actions to take forward on February 18th. The options paper currently has four key areas. The first area is about equipping the profession to deal with the climate and biodiversity emergency. Each area has workstreams that will make the commitments a reality. 1. Equipping the profession to design, create, plan, manage and promote projects that address the emergency Ensuring that members of the Landscape Institute (and related professionals) are provided with the necessary guidance, training and support to generate resilient and regenerative landscapes. Workstreams in this area include enhancing CPD, guidance and tools for members,
2. Advocating for stronger measures to tackle the emergency in both a policy and industry context The second area has an outwardfacing focus with a push to advocate for stronger measures to tackle the climate and biodiversity emergency in both a policy and industry context. This will involve engaging with and influencing government and wider stakeholders to shape national and local policy context to facilitate resilient placemaking. Many of the workstreams of this area are already being undertaken by the policy team with engagement and collaboration on the emergency underway. 3. Regulating and supporting the profession to operate in ways that can respond to the emergency The third area sets out the regulation and support that will be required to raise standards for Landscape Institute members, ensuring that they are striving to address the climate and biodiversity emergency. This will involve reviewing the Code of Conduct to embed climate and biodiversity actions as a must.
4. Acting as a leader organisation in terms of how a business should operate and respond to the emergency Finally, the LI intends to act as a leader organisation with the 4th area exploring how the Institute itself can rethink its own carbon footprint and business practices to go beyond net zero emissions and operate in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Other Actions There are a host of other ongoing actions including the following highlights. An independent review of current awards categories and criteria with a proposed new awards structure. This includes: – Enhancing Biodiversity: “This award recognises established projects, strategies or research that provides enhanced biodiversity to a local area, region, community, town or city.” – Delivering Climate Change Resilience: “This award celebrates, through green and blue infrastructure initiatives, those at the forefront of creating places resilient to the
LI life: Climate emergency effects of climate change. This may include protection from flood, drought, urban heat island effect, sea level rises, and unpredictable weather conditions.” The Landscape Institute is also currently drafting the New IFLA Global Ethical Principles, these will sit above and inform the individual national Codes of Practice. There are currently seven draft principles, of which principle #7 will ensure that landscape professionals recognise the issue of climate and biodiversity emergency and take all reasonable steps to employ sustainable development practices.
Timeline of actions Actions Already Taken Q4 2019 – Updated LI travel policy to further limit carbon impacts – Enabled LI employees to participate in the last climate action strike – Requiring all LI members from July 2020 to do 5 hours per year CPD
related to climate or environmental net gain topics – Placed climate and biodiversity emergency on the agenda for Council and Board strategy day and hosted a climate and biodiversity emergency debate at the Jellicoe lecture 2019. – Journal dedicated to the climate and biodiversity emergency Q1 2020 – Started to create new global landscape practice principles with IFLA (ethical standards) that make reference to the climate and biodiversity emergency – Entry standards project ensures that climate skills are referenced within the new competency framework – Independent review of the LI awards categories to recognise the climate and biodiversity emergency. Q2 2020 – Options paper to be signed off and actions to be implemented – Develop a plan for COP26 in Glasgow
Future Actions 2020/21 – Develop and deliver a co-ordinated plan of CPD events and guidance documentation that will address each of the four content themes – Develop and deliver at least one national, LI-led ‘statement’ initiative for 2020-21 – Encourage and support individual practices to declare a biodiversity and climate emergency – Promote an existing tool or development of a bespoke landscape practice-specific tool that can be used by all practices to monitor their carbon footprint – Undertake a baseline assessment of the LI’s organisational corporate carbon and develop and implement an action plan to reduce carbon footprint by end 2020 For more details of the proposed changes please contact the Policy team and policy@landscapeinstitute. org
Sylvia Crowe celebrated in the Cumberland Basin
rtist Amy Hutchings painted the Women of Hotwells and Cliftonwood mural in the summer of 2018. The mural celebrates local women and those who passed through Hotwells and Cliftonwood in Bristol. Inspired by nesting dolls, the forms were simplified and arranged in historical order on the side of the ramp leading into Hotwells – the women grow slowly as they move into the more recent past. There is Dinah Black – one of the first recorded black people in England, who escaped shoeless from a ship bound from the West Indies to become a freed slave; Mary Wollstonecraft – writer of the first feminist manifesto and mother of Mary Shelley, who used to live locally and was the creator of Frankenstein.
1. Artist Amy Hutchings with her mural ‘The Women of Hotwells’. © Amy Hutchings. All rights reserved, DACS 2020 www.amyhutchings.co.uk.
Ellen Craft disguised herself as a white man, escaping to Bristol from America with her slave husband masquerading as her servant; Eliza Walker Dunbar, the first female surgeon in Bristol and founder of Read
Dispensary for Women and Children, Hotwells; Angela Carter, who started a jazz night at the Bear on Hotwells Road and landscape architect, Sylvia Crowe, who designed the Cumberland Basin, where the mural is located.
LI life: technical By Jon Rooney
New guidance on large-scale infrastructure
he planning, design and management of large-scale infrastructure projects involves complex interactions between people, place and nature. Often, a key challenge is demonstrating the local benefits of such projects, which are intrinsically about unlocking regional or national growth. As this issue of the Landscape Journal demonstrates, landscape professionals have a long history in guiding change by applying our understanding of the art and science of landscape. However, in the past there has been no single source of guidance for members to turn to that helps to make these arguments. This is all the more important in the context of the climate and biodiversity emergency and the technical and social transformations that the Fourth
Industrial Revolution will bring. In late 2018, a working group drawn from the public and private sectors was formed to develop new guidance for members to address these issues. The document, which is in the final stages of preparation, will provide a resource for practitioners, decision makers and stakeholders by bringing together key references in one place. It is intended to be a live document that is read alongside case studies hosted on the Landscape Institute website. The first part of the guidance explains what infrastructure is, the role of the landscape professional, and the planning and design process in a largescale infrastructure project. It reflects on the guiding principles of modern landscape architecture, which were established by the pioneers of the early 20th century. This sets the context
for a modern interpretation of design processes that align with current regulation and policy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for example, in the delivery of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP). The second part provides comprehensive technical guidance and resources, explaining the stages of a large-scale infrastructure project in more detail. It also introduces documents of relevance to different infrastructure types, such as roads, rail, water and aviation. When published, the document will provide members with a single source to guide their work and interactions with the wider project team and stakeholders. We hope members will find it a useful resource, not only as a technical reference but also in elevating the role of the landscape professional in large-scale infrastructure projects.
The Ground We Stand On
By John Stuart-Murray
“…the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started…” T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets, 1943 Five paces across the garden, three steps up to the street and I’ve left home. The road was lower when the house was built in 1823. Digs and archaeology go together. The graveyard lies opposite, beyond that, the ruined Abbey. In Spring, nuthatches play piccolo in the trees.
Most of the town is built of honeyed sandstone pillaged from the Abbey. It weathers badly. It’s been out of the ground for nearly 1000 years! That’s why so many of Kelso’s buildings have been rendered and painted, or harled in Scots, with wet dash. I enter The Square – so large for Scotland, it needs no qualification, through an alley by the bank. An owl and a squirrel on the Arts and Crafts railing entreat us to save. The Square conforms to no known geometry. It is not a square. Nor is it a rectangle. It is neither oval nor circular. Straight building lines are the exception, not the rule. Unexpected rebates in frontages give quiet nooks and corners. Four roads gush in. Five
alleyways trickle. I cross Woodmarket past the Town House where old men with morning papers stop for a blether; then Horsemarket. Each has a whinstone carapace of setts. Opposite lie The Dardenelles, a strait once separating the world within from the world without. The name is not mapped, but coined surely during the Crimean War.
I continue my circumnavigation, like a cat checking its territory for anything out-of-place. I walk on pavements of bronzed York stone, warmer to the eye than Caithness Presbyterian grey – default for many a townscape renewal. York is nearer than Caithness here. A building with a steep pitched roof marks where I turn right. Slated, its profile shows it was once thatched. Lord Home said that drainage required for commercial forestry was like replacing a thatched roof with slates.
The wilful, winding course of Roxburgh Street reflects its age and infancy as a path. I turn left up Chalkheugh Terrace, which gave Kelso its name. No chalk can be seen behind this stone faced height. I scan the catchment upstream of the Tweed and its confluence with the Teviot by the site of the deserted town of Roxburgh, for incoming westerlies. Turning downstream, and parallel with the lade leading to the grain mill below the weir,
or cauld in Scots, I rejoin Roxburgh Street and recross The Square. Public ‘art’ in the form of a sett the size of van now introduces an unneeded axis, and scales down the space in front of the Town House. The Square is perverse enough to survive. I follow Bridge Street until ‘Jock the Box’ – a tight, covered alley by the smallest house in town – now a bridal salon, and return to Abbey Row – wedded to work and place.
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