Green inspiration

At March 2009’s Park City green infrastructure conference, CABE and Natural England brought together an international audience of professionals – most of whose interests lie outside the established green sector – to discuss the latest thinking and share solutions. Two speakers from the US particularly inspired.

Connecting people and place – the ecology of urban design

William McDonough, author of Cradle to Cradle, spoke on the ecology of urban design. McDonough sees a world of abundance – it is a question of using it in ways that allows it to last. He wants to celebrate human creativity, instead of bemoaning our activities.

Promoting an environmental infrastructure for sustainable communities

Edward McMahon is credited as being the founding father of green infrastructure. He argues that we have to see green space as a necessity rather than an amenity.

You can read more inspirational stories from some of the other speakers at ParkCity, including:

Majora Carter – activist and founder of Sustainable South Bronx, a non-profit environmental justice organisation.

Wade Crowfoot – San Francisco’s director of climate protection initiatives is at the front line of the Californian city’s not-so-quiet climate revolution.

Klaus Bondam – Copenhagen’s mayor of environmental administration is leading that city’s drive to become provide the world’s best urban environment by 2015.

Over the last several years, the ideas of green infrastructure have been developed worldwide and include various concepts, such as construction  of rain gardens, green roofs, porous pavements, vegetated areas attached to the concrete building, as well as all the strategies referring to preservation of natural areas. Several massive actions had been organized in some countries with the goal to plant thousands of trees and restore wetlands. Urban areas in many cities are now concrete sprinkled with dozens of rain gardens and green roofs. The results of these actions will become obvious to the future generations, but the idea is spreading and gaining necessary popularity.