The true value of community engagement is to enable nature-based solutions to tackle the ongoing implications of climate change and the effects of flooding in our towns and cities.

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    GBU’s mission is to be the interface between nature and the built environment, by doing so a collaborative approach is possible to enable the successful planning, design, and implementation of blue green infrastructure solutions to benefit all. Recent revisions to planning policy and the National Planning Policy Framework recognise the role that well-designed SuDS have in managing surface water. 

    Why SuDS?  

    Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are designed to manage stormwater locally (as close its source as possible), to mimic natural drainage and encourage its infiltration, attenuation, evapotranspiration, and passive treatment.   SuDS are designed to both manage the flood and pollution risks resulting from urban runoff and to contribute wherever possible to environmental enhancement and place making. The multi-functionality and multiple benefits of SuDS should always be considered. 

    SuDS Techniques 

    • Tree Pits 
    • Rain Gardens 
    • Green (Blue) Roofs 
    • Permeable Paving 
    • Swales, Basins, Ponds & Wetlands 
    • Filter drains and strips  

    How can we raise awareness of SuDS?  

    Drainage systems should be considered at the earliest stages of site selection.  Successful design will incorporate local policy and will be developed by the local planning authority, often with engineers, highways, and specialist landscape architects, all taking into consideration any local flood risk strategy guidance.   

    Early engagement (pre-application) with stakeholders is always recommended, including the local community.  Proposals of Multifunctional spaces should include all communal spaces; verges, gardens, landscaped areas, play and car parks. Plans should highlight the benefits of nature-based solutions and the costs benefits versus engineered storage alternatives.   

    Successful schemes listen and develop plans based on collaborative feedback from their users, a perfect example of this is one of our most successful case studies at North Street Keighley in West Yorkshire. Design consultations with the Local Town Council included DDA groups and even footage from local pub users, whereby it was decided the railings would be included in the final design!   

    The final design of the ArborFlow tree pits have been a resounding success with Bradford Metropolitan Council highly praised for their continued efforts relating to stormwater management.  

    Calculations: The SuDs tree pits were designed to accept highway water runoff resulting from the creation of an additional 356sq.m of new carriageway coping with a rainfall intensity assumed to be 50mm/hr; peak runoff rate was determined to be 4.95 l/s. 

    Consultation can inform change for the better to include social behaviour and cohesion. 

    In 2010 the community of Kenmont Gardens in Hammersmith & Fulham requested that an area should be provided to serve as a focal point for the neighbourhood, and following extensive consultations, it was decided to close the carriageway outside the Kenmont School and make the area an informal gathering area, or “pocket park”, to be used by all the public, and in particular the parents of children at the school.  

    Working extensively with streetscape designers Project Centre from concept, design through to implementation along with strong relations with installers FM Conway  this was another great GreenBlue Urban installation which is improving the quality of life for all those who live, work and play in our urban areas.  




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