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Design Book – Green Cities

Breathing life back into urban living

A greener city is a healthier place for people to live, work and visit. In our Design Book: 50 city stories explored, we show the many benefits of bringing nature into the urban environment. We believe that incorporating green corridors, streets, parks and green space on buildings into a city boosts wellbeing, safety and prosperity.

As well as encouraging biodiversity, green space reduces heat and pollution and inspires people to walk or cycle. Green infrastructure can also alleviate flooding and provide resilience against the effects of climate change.

At Hunter’s Point South, a wasteland has been brought back to life. This semi-derelict site – with its views of Manhattan’s skyline – offered great opportunities for regeneration and redevelopment. The space also had the potential to become a new, shared community space. The waterfront park we have created is home to new streets, bike-ways and even a dog-run. The community contributed ideas and is now seeing the benefits. The park is regularly used for events of all kinds – from beach volleyball to movie nights and silent discos.  It’s a true community hub.

New ways of thinking

Green space is sometimes vertical. In the heart of a historic area of Milan, Italy, we used our structural know-how to create the Bosco Verticale – a ‘vertical wood’ of 900 cherry, olive and oak trees – up the side of two high-rise residential buildings. The trees offer shade and cleaner air for the residents and are a haven for insect and bird life. They have created a vibrant natural environment on an artificial surface.

Cities Alive, our award-winning report looks at the importance of building nature into urban areas through new developments or retrofitting.

The wide social, economic and environmental benefits that green delivers in supporting the quality of urban living and providing climate change resilience are becoming better understood. Green space needs to be designed as a fundamental component of a healthy city and urban environment. ”

Tom Armour is the Global Landscape Architecture Leader for Arup Tom Armour Global Landscape Architecture Leader

This approach is evident in London, where we are working with The Crown Estate to creatively introduce more urban green, flora and fauna into its central London property portfolio – via rooftops and public space. We’re helping one of the world’s greenest cities to become even greener.

Design Book: 50 city stories explored

Read an electronic version of the Design Book