James King, Principal Landscape Architect and Planit-IE’s London Studio Lead took part in a City Conversation, entitled ‘Chloroville; Green infrastructure and the modern city’.

The green infrastructure presentation and panel discussion was designed to be a thought provoking evening, discussing how we can better plan our towns and cities in order to improve health and well-being, air quality, pedestrian and vehicular links. Associated costs and how improvements may be funded through stronger legislation were also explored.

The discussion was chaired by Trevor Curson, Director at BuroHappold and James was joined on the panel by: Peter Massini, Principal Policy and Programme Officer Green Infrastructure for Greater London Authority; Professor John Dover, Professor of Ecology at Staffordshire University; and Jimmy Hung, Architect at Heatherwick Studio.

The four panellists gave brief presentations setting out their thoughts on green infrastructure. James’ presentation focussed on ‘Delivery’ and the ability of developers and designers to create a legacy of green infrastructure, despite the current lack of legislation. The successful establishment of green infrastructure can be linked to an intelligent approach to Specification, Procurement, Installation and Maintenance alongside a contextual approach to each individual site. Correct species selection, soil volume and specification, contract growing of material and an integrated approach to maintenance are all essential.

Several audience questions focussed on how this information and knowledge can be shared across various design disciplines. ‘Affordability’ was also a hot topic. There was a particular interest in long-term maintenance and opportunities to hold developers responsible for longer periods rather than walking away once developments are sold.

City conversations is a series of informative thought-leadership discussions around the big issues that are changing our cities – growth, technology, resource efficiency and climate change. The conversations address not only the new and changing infrastructure of cities but also how these are brought about, and their impact on the lifestyle and well-being of citizens. The series is being produced by The Happold Foundation and ngenuity Ltd, with the support of The Building Centre.

Written by Pete Robinson, Project Landscape Architect