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How the UK can become a world leader for green cities

A new vision for greener UK cities that will create more attractive centres, improve the well-being of the population and combat the effects of climate change has been launched today at London’s City Hall by London Assembly Environment Committee Chair Leonie Cooper AM and UK-based consultants WSP.

 

The vision provides practical actions for city leaders, businesses and communities to help their cities to become global leaders in biodiversity, and contributes to the London Mayor’s ambitious plans for the capital as set out in the London Environment Strategy, currently out for consultation.

Whether in London, Oslo, Liverpool or Toronto, the report identifies successful examples of enhancing urban biodiversity through collaboration between the public and private sector.

The social and economic benefits can be significant. For example, the green infrastructure within London Victoria’s Business Improvement District (BID) diverts approx. 112,400m³ of rainwater and has potential to reduce local temperatures by 5.1°C.

Assembly Member Leonie Cooper said: “Imagine cities filled with skyline parks, rivers brimming with wildlife and neighbourhoods with ‘green hearts.’ As competition for space in cities grows, we need to take action to ensure that biodiversity does not fall down the list of public policy priorities. WSP’s new report shows how this desirable vision can become a reality for London if we take action now and reimagine how we design future developments.” 

WSP has the UK’s largest team of ecologists and biodiversity specialists and has worked on major projects as diverse as the Thameslink programme and Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

Tom Butterworth, WSP Director of Biodiversity, said: “There is a growing understanding of how biodiversity benefits society and the economy. With the pressures of climate change, a growing population and evolving technologies, realising these benefits is more important than ever before. City leaders have the chance to make a real change now, by enhancing public places to make them rich in vegetation and wildlife.”

A copy of the report “Biodiversity in the city: practical actions to make our UK cities global leaders” can be downloaded here: https://goo.gl/Vu3o3y

Leonie Cooper AM, Tom Butterworth WSP Director of Biodiversity and David Symons WSP Director for Environment and Sustainability are available for interviews.

For media enquiries please contact enfys.bosworth@wsp.com / 07966 394 315

Notes to editors

WSP is one of the world's leading engineering professional services consulting firms. We are dedicated to our local communities and propelled by international brainpower. We are technical experts and strategic advisors including engineers, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals. We design lasting solutions in the Property & Buildings, Transportation & Infrastructure, Environment, Industry, Resources (including Mining and Oil & Gas) and Power & Energy sectors as well as project delivery and strategic consulting services.

With 7,150 talented people in the UK and more than 37,000 globally, we engineer projects that will help societies grow for lifetimes to come. WSP has been involved in many high profile UK projects including the Shard, Crossrail, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Manchester Metrolink, M1 Smart Motorway, the re-development of London Bridge Station, and the London Olympic & Paralympic Route Network. www.wsp.com/uk