Seven years ago I attended a UK Green Building Council conference, which was packed full of speakers including Gary Grant and Dusty Gedge. It was the first time I had seen these dynamic orators in action and I have been hooked ever since. Their ability as communicators about the benefits of green infrastructure and their relentless vigour to create genuine change for the better in our ever more urbanised cities is infectious.
The first publication of the London Living Roofs and Walls had been published by this time and those in local government were jumping on board and really beating the 'Green Infrastructure' drum. At the recent EUGIC 2019 conference it was great to listen to Shirley Rodrigues the Deputy Mayor of London - Environment and Energy - she too was at the forefront of the green roof legislation in London -
'I was privileged to be leading the Greater London Authority’s Environment Team when the first green roof policy was included in the London Plan in 2008. In the intervening 10 years I have been delighted to witness the patchwork of green roofs and walls spreading across London’s skyline, alongside the establishment of a world-class industry that is working towards the greening of London and other cities and which is, moreover, supporting our objectives on air quality, climate resilience and biodiversity'.
Ten years later, and now as the Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, I want London to continue to be a pace-setter. The Mayor has made a commitment to make London the first National Park City and for more than half of London to be green by 2050. To make that a reality we must continue to green the built environment whilst ensuring the protection of our existing green spaces.
We have introduced an Urban Greening Factor into the London Plan to ensure that all new major development includes an element of greening which contributes to making the city healthier, wilder or more resilient. This is urban greening as infrastructure not as ornament, and it is essential if we want to create the sustainable cities of the future that we urgently need'.
Now is a fascinating time to be part of this booming industry, with the pressure to apply our horticultural and landscaping skills to the greater good and health and wellbeing of our cities. Scotscape are sponsors of the new London Living Roofs and Walls report and are happy to be able to support the ongoing and expansive communication juggernaut of Dusty and Gary.
To download the full report click here: London Living Roofs and Walls Report