UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Knowledge use and decision-making in urban green infrastructure projects

Washbourne, C-L; (2017) Knowledge use and decision-making in urban green infrastructure projects. Presented at: EcoCity World Congress, Melbourne, Australia. Green open access

[thumbnail of CW EcoCity 2017 Presentation.pptx] Slideshow
CW EcoCity 2017 Presentation.pptx - Published Version

Download (41MB)


Aims: Addressing the summit theme of ‘Governance, Infrastructure and Finance’ and questions of ‘understanding’ and ‘creating’ resilient and sustainable cities, this research programme investigates how different kinds of knowledge are currently used, and how they could be better mobilised, in urban decision-making and design. Green infrastructure (GI) is used as an example case, referring here to networks of high-quality green, and blue, areas that provide valuable, tangible benefits to human populations, playing a critical role in supporting and maintaining rapidly growing and evolving urban communities. The call for “safe, inclusive, accessible, green, and quality public spaces” encapsulated in high-level documents such as UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda (UN 2016) has implications for policy and practice in GI projects as elements of effective public space making. / Methods: GI benefits to environment and society have a long history, though shorter in the highly intentional, technical space of urban design and practice (Ahern 2007). Many countries have adopted GI approaches and some have formalised this in national and local policy. Through technical and policy data collation from existing GI projects and interviews with practitioners and policy-makers, this study outlines examples of GI concepts being applied to create urban green spaces in the Gauteng City-Region (South Africa) and London (UK). The overarching aim is to understand and improve the ways in which these projects are currently resourced, framed and effected; determining how GI approaches operate on the ground (knowledge base, skills, techniques etc.) and understanding how policies currently promote or hinder their implementation. / Findings: This study is framed by preliminary case studies, considering how these geographic areas have adopted and used GI practices and the implications for wider urban environments. Examples of effective practice in planning, implementation and policy-making will be drawn out, considering the efficacy of different methods for exchanging knowledge and applying skills. Many of the basic skills for creating high-quality GI interventions are already within the experience of planners, engineers and developers. However, the success of these projects may be critically complimented by other disciplines not commonly involved in infrastructure projects. Effective management and maintenance of GI can present a particular challenge, requiring the nuanced capacity to undertake landscape scale monitoring and management with specialist intervention. / Conclusions: There is a move towards inclusion of GI approaches in planning and governance, though this varies in formality and across governance level. Knowledge use varies across projects, but there are universal requirements and concerns in planning and physical construction. For long term project success, it is important that practitioners are aware of the capabilities of GI and have opportunities to access suitable knowledge and skills at an early stage of project development and throughout the maintenance period.

Type: Conference item (Presentation)
Title: Knowledge use and decision-making in urban green infrastructure projects
Event: EcoCity World Congress
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Dates: July 2017
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.ecocity2017.com/
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > STEaPP
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10087566
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item