Study reveals how green infrastructure tackles climate change

Natural solutions such as sustainable drainage and green spaces could help businesses reduce their environmental impact and make their neighbouring areas more resilient to climate risks, according to latest research.

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A study by the Ignition Project, which aims to develop green and blue infrastructure across Greater Manchester, found that they saved energy, reduced emissions, improved biodiversity, and delivered socio-economic benefits to health and wellbeing while increasing property values.

The report said while such solutions have a major role to play in mitigating climate change through carbon capture and storage, there is considerable evidence that some can also reduce emissions at source by providing insulation and temperature control. It reveals that sustainable drainage systems can retain up to 72% of rainwater runoff, while trees located next to or within a public road can reduce temperature by 3ºC and sequester 5.5 kg of carbon per tree.

Urban parks and green spaces increase property values by 9.5%, while green roofs and green walls deliver energy savings of 6.7% and 8% respectively. The project, which is backed by 12 partners including Business in the Community, the UK Green Building Council, the Environment Agency as well as city councils and universities in Manchester and Salford, is supported by €4.5 million from the EU’s Urban Innovation Actions initiative.

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