22 Aug 2012
From left to right: The award sponsor, Simon Green (CBA), Dominic Watkins (CBA), Catherine Cairns (Natural England), Ian McMillan (poet and award compere), Laura Kitson (Beds and Luton GI Officer) and Justine Dowsing (CBA).
A guide detailing how to transform urban life by including green spaces, the first of its kind in the UK, has scooped a national award.
The guidance titled 'Green infrastructure by design: adding value to development' was developed in the Milton Keynes South Midlands (MKSM) growth area. At the Landscape Institute Awards ceremony in London earlier this month, it was announced winner of the Local Landscape Planning category.
The judges said of the guidance: "Excellent, clear communication that promotes green infrastructure in a simple and effective manner. It promotes green infrastructure as a real, achievable and integral part of place-making."
The new guidance was funded by Natural England and the Environment Agency and is aimed at developers and planners. It sets out design principles that allow for green spaces to transform urban life by cooling cities, filtering out pollutants, improving people's health, supporting wildlife and creating attractive places to live and work in.
These design principles will serve as a valuable checklist for developers and planners, both in designing high quality environments for people and wildlife and ensuring high standards are achieved in the evaluation of planning applications.
Natural England's Catherine Cairns said: "Natural England and the Environment Agency worked closely together, and with local partners, to bring the vision of green infrastructure design advice to fruition. We are delighted that this excellent document has received such strong endorsement from landscape professionals through this national award. Although focussed on the Milton Keynes area, the advice is equally applicable to new developments in all areas."
Dominic Watkins, Director at Chris Blandford Associates, said: "We are delighted to have received a Landscape Institute Award for the Milton Keynes South Midlands Green Infrastructure Design Guide, the first of its kind in the UK.
"The document has plugged a much needed gap in guidance to help planners and developers translate policies and strategies into well-designed, high quality green infrastructure on the ground. As the Guide's design principles are equally applicable to showing how investment in green infrastructure also makes economic sense by adding value to development in other areas, winning this award will help promote these benefits to a national audience."
Laura Kitson, who managed the project, said: "This award shows what can be achieved by working in partnership across sectors and administrative areas. It provides consistent, easy to use advice, which shows the importance of green infrastructure in raising the quality and value of development."