Speaking at the Thames Gateway Forum at the O2 Arena, in London, Natural England’s acting chair, Poul Christensen, announced the partnership yesterday (November 3).

The guidance will apply to green spaces, urban parks, street trees and green roofs, roughly referred to as green infrastructure.

Called A Natural Development the partnership aims to show what contribution the natural environment can make to urban regeneration.

Mr Christensen said he was surprised to learn the most visited section of the Natural England website was called ‘guidance on green infrastructure’.

He said: “The environment is too often seen as a block and not for the huge advantages it can bring.

“We’re looking to ensure green infrastructure is woven into urban development, either by incorporating it into new developments or by adapting existing buildings or areas.

“This will deliver locally distinctive places that work with nature to deliver a wide range of benefits.”

The partnership, is so far supported by developers from Arup, Barking Riverside, Land Securities and Countryside Properties, and will promote best practice and raise the standard of design and delivery for green spaces.

Pilot studies are now being set up at the Barking Riverside and Lodge Hill developments in the Thames Gateway and a series of seminars will take place throughout 2010.

Luke Walsh

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