Friday, 29th April 2016

Temple’s first Green Sky event: Sustainable Infrastructure

On Wednesday 27 April we held our first Green Sky Thinking event. The event saw talks from Imperial College London, Green Infrastructure Consultancy, Sustrans, as well as Temple’s Richard Lane (Senior Consultant – Air Quality). All speakers where presenting their point of view on the following question: how can London be more sustainable?

Richard Lane was up first discussing the urgency around air pollution and how we might be able to learn from other countries’ thinking when it comes to the issue: Amsterdam and the widespread use of cycling or how Oslo has banned private vehicles in central areas. In his view, new options for freight transport in urban areas and cleaner vehicle fleets will be key in improving our cities’ air quality.

Dusty Gedge from the Green Infrastructure Consultancy was up next, he raised some very interesting points with regard to the importance of integrated thinking when it comes to green infrastructure. He mentioned green infrastructure had been discussed throughout Green Sky Thinking but not how it integrates with other systems. He finished his pitch by saying that green infrastructure has an important place in dense urban environments and that this is something that should be better recognised.

It was then Matt Winfield from Sustrans turn to present. He kicked off by referencing the fact that funding for cycling was disproportionate to use. Matt welcomed London’s steadily increasingly focus on cycling, however he suggested that often it’s smaller schemes that are more impactful, and bring about bevahourial change, as opposed to the larger schemes. One of his main points was that cycling infrastructure should make London a safer place to cycle and contribute to the public’s well-being.

The last speaker was Nick Voulvoulis from Imperial College London. In a sense, Nick really drew the other presentations together. He discussed the importance of systems thinking in achieving a future vision for cities; climate change must be taken into account and be mitigated if the infrastructure of a ‘future city’ has a hope of being functional or resilient.

The speakers each offered a unique and interesting perspective, making for a lively event. Many thanks to all speakers for getting involved. At the end of the session we asked the audience: what do you think the focus should be to deliver a sustainable London? The results are reflective of the direction of the debate, where some of the speakers found themselves agreeing with one another. The results can be seen below:

graph - green sky - website


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