Project aims to open up green space potential

It is a choice that is often overlooked when land is redeveloped - but a new project is aiming to highlight the possibilities for turning brownfield into green spaces.

CIRIA (the Construction Industry Research and Information Association) is hoping to draw up comprehensive guidance for the industry and local authorities on the benefits of creating green space.

Under the current proposals, the guidance would include the wildlife and biodiversity benefits, future management of green space created on brownfield sites, and financial and legal issues associated with public green spaces.

The scheme, which is currently in its early stages, is being led by project manager Joanne Kwan.

She told edie development has tended to focus on filling up sites with housing or office space to maximise profit, but the slowdown in the housing market could help to shift the emphasis.

“I want to open up a better range of options for people, because in the past, we have been very narrowed or biased towards what I call the ‘quick fix solution’ because we needed a site quickly,” Ms Kwan said.

She added: “What we haven’t really thought about is these brownfield sites being used for green space.

“Urban green spaces can actually add value to a project because people are more likely to want to live in houses with green spaces.”

Ms Kwan admitted that it is an area that CIRIA itself has overlooked in its previous guidance.

“CIRIA has done lots of guidance on contaminated land and very few mention open space. We don’t tend to link the two things together. I think it’s very much needed.”

Ms Kwan is currently raising funds for the project, and it is hoped it will begin before the end of the year.

Anyone who is interested in funding or taking part in the project can find more information here.

Kate Martin

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