‘Turquoise belts’ to climate-proof homes

'Turquoise belts' around rivers and waterways designed to protect buildings from flooding may become the latest addition to the planners' arsenal of climate-proofing tools.

The need for new homes combined with rising flood risk requires a re-think of Britain’s land use, agricultural and planning systems.

“The way we use and manage land fundamentally affects our economy, our environment, and our social cohesion,” environment secretary David Miliband told a CPRE conference.

“We face new pressures that will force changes in how land is used and managed, from demographic change to climate change. Preservation of the status quo is not an option,” he said.

Green belts are part of the mix of measures with which Britain’s land area should be climate-proofed. Both green and turquoise belts would also help encourage biodiversity and improve living conditions by providing recreation land.

“I want to ask ‘what is land for?’ and why do we value land? We need a new consensus and a new vision for Britain and how it makes the most out if its land,” said David Miliband.

“Creating a country where we get more economic, social and environmental value from our land will require reforms to our systems of planning, land use and agriculture.

“We need to think of quality green space as a sort of infrastructure – as more land is developed for houses, business, roads or railways we need to find ways to invest in ‘green infrastructure’ in and around cities and towns where most people live,” he said.

Goska Romanowicz

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