NERC projects and programmes relevant to Green Infrastructure
1. NERC have funded 14 GI Innovation projects on green infrastructure to improve city living. Short summaries of each project are here The work funded under NERC's Green Infrastructure Innovation Projects call will help planners, policymakers and business understand the true value of green infrastructure, and make decisions accordingly. At the present time there is an evaluation of these projects being undertaken by Mike Grace which feeds into this research. The report is available here
Some of these projects have their own dedicated web sites and tools
(a) Building with Nature a new GI benchmark
(b) SPIES a tool to help maximise ecosystem services from solar parks.
(c) Tree Species Selection for Green Infrastructure: A Guide for Specifiers A tree selection tool to help planners and developers maximise the benfits of trees in particualr sites and settings.
(d) Natural Capital Planning Tool A systematic assessment of the likely impact of proposed plans and developments on Natural Capital and the ecosystem services
(e) My backyard This citizen science project aims to improve our understanding of domestic gardens in Manchester and the benefits that they provide us.
(f) Greening the Grey This report presents innovations from academia and practice designed to green grey infrastructure assets such as bridges, street furniture and coastal engineering structures that need to remain primarily grey for their essential function. We call this integrated green grey infrastructure
2. NERC have funded the BESS programme (Biodiversity & Ecosystem Service Sustainability) which has just completed. Within this programme an Urban BESS project Fragments, Functions, Flows & Urban Ecosystem Services assessed how the biodiversity of towns and cities (Luton Bedford and Milton Keynes) contributes to human well-being.
3. NERC have funded a landscape scale project The South West Partnership for Environment and Economic Prosperity SWEEP which within a partnership of academic, business, environment and planning partners will collectively plan and deliver economic and community benefits to the South West, whilst also protecting and enhancing the area's natural resources.
4. The Valuing Nature Programme is a major NERC initiative which seeks a better understanding and representation of the complexities of the natural environment in valuation analyses and decision making and to consider the wider economic, societal and cultural value of ecosystem services. There is a health and well being component within which 2 projects have direct relevance to urban green infrastructure
Improving well being through urban nature will assess the interactions and interdependencies within Sheffield between people, their local natural environment and their health and wellbeing.
Green Infrastructure to promote health and well being in an ageing population will identify and assess the benefits and values of urban GI in Greater Manchester for older people and how GI and specific 'greening projects' can be best used to support healthy ageing in urban areas.
5. NERC have funded a catchment scale project iCASP Integrated Catchments Soutions programme which aims to generate benefits for Yorkshire by applying environmental science to catchment challenges. This catchment area is facing some complex and costly challenges: flooding and drought, soil and water degradation, loss of agriculturally productive land and important ecosystems. However, there are also high levels of regional investment – in cities such as Leeds with development of the South Bank and a new flood alleviation scheme, and in programmes of natural flood management and peatland restoration in upland areas.