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Innovations in Greening Grey Infrastructure
Call for Case Studies.
Can you help? Do you know of an infrastructure project that is including an innovative element
of design, engineering, funding or collaborative working that could be shared? We are working
with a number of organisations on a Natural Environment Research Council funded project
highlighting the potential to integrate green elements in traditionally grey infrastructure
We need case studies that show
 how the innovation works,
 why it was done,
 who benefits and how.
We can include
 Urban case studies across a range of hard, grey urban infrastructure (roads, railways,
bridges, walls, buildings, street furniture) not typically greened using conventional GI
 Innovation by greening heritage assets that must remain largely grey.
 On estuaries – case studies of greener forms of bank protection that have been
implemented and either performed well or failed.
 On the coast – case studies where hard engineering has been enhanced to create
ecological niches on structures such as seawalls, rock armour, piers and outfall pipes.
Simply contact us directly at the address below; call for a chat about your project or email with a
brief summary. For more detail and the benefits see [link to Benefits page].
Integrating green grey infrastructure.
Increasingly, the importance of quality public green spaces is being recognised. The associated
interlinking natural services they provide benefit the environment, wildlife, and the health and
wellbeing of us all. These green elements of our cities and towns help us adapt to the stresses of
climate change and improve the UK economy, saving councils and companies money.
Strategically this Green Infrastructure (GI) is often defined as the area around, rather than on, urban
infrastructure, with the notable exceptions of green roofs and living walls. Hard (i.e. grey) assets
such as buildings, walls, transport networks and bridges in urban areas are typically viewed
separately from GI, yet these surfaces can potentially be greened to provide a suite of social,
environmental and economic benefits. While some parts of our cities and towns must remain grey
(roads, railways, bridges, perimeter fencing, garden walls, sea defences and sewage outfall pipes),
we can also green parts of these infrastructure systems, to provide more habitat for key species and
to improve the quality of the environment. What if our footbridges can be corridors for door mice?
Or our seawalls provide habitat for animals that commercial fish like sea bass eat? Sometimes with
little additional effort or cost these multifunctional schemes can save money and make our cities
and towns greener and more resilient at the same time.
This project packages UK case studies that highlight best practice examples of greening our grey
assets Integrated Green Grey Infrastructure (IGGI) into a toolkit. The toolkit will:
- enable organisations such as Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Scottish Environmental
Protection Agency and Natural Resources Wales to understand and present the costs and benefits of
applying green infrastructure principles to hard infrastructures like bridges and estuary walls,
- enable high-level support for applying these novel ideas.
- help small businesses such as landscape architecture firms generate new projects by providing a
framework and case studies to demonstrate why and how to do this.
- benefit larger consultancy and engineering firms (e.g. Arup and Mott MacDonald) as they can
better pitch opportunities, with firm costs, design criteria and a track record of success to
prospective clients including housing and marina developers.
The project has two core, inter-linked outputs:
1. A decision-support framework providing a tool for evaluating the critical success factors for
implementing IGGI approaches.
2. A set of case studies demonstrating the costs, benefits and engineering performance of these
These outputs will provide a firm business case for end-users to evaluate engineering performance
and associated benefits of adopting IGGI approaches, by providing evidence-based case studies it
will allow new business models to be developed for applying IGGI principles to hard, linear, nonbuilding infrastructure assets. The simple framework will enable organisations to better incorporate
IGGI on existing or new hard assets in urban areas, river edges and along coastlines.
Please contact us at: [email protected] , 07758 881206 or
Larissa. [email protected] , 0141 330 5403.