Urban planning in a changing climate – Greenwich experts to advise European cities


Expanding parklands, introducing green roofs and restoring wetlands are just some of the ways that European towns and cities can adapt to climate change, Greenwich academics are to advise.


Researchers from the university's School of Design are sharing their expertise with cities, towns and villages in seven European countries as part of the INTERREG EUROPE Cooperation Programme to build urban climate change resilience.

The three-year project – Blue and Green Infrastructure for Sustainable Cities – will see Dr Benz Kotzen and Dr Sarah Milliken delivering workshops and training to municipalities in Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Romania, and Croatia.

The two experts will advise communities on how they can use nature-based solutions to increase resilience and provide effective climate change adaptation.

Dr Kotzen said: "We are training these communities to develop green and blue infrastructure strategies, which in the context of an urban environment are the all-natural and semi-natural landscape elements that provide ecological connectivity by forming a green-blue network, such as street trees, parks, gardens and rivers, as well as green roofs and living walls.

"Green and blue infrastructure cools the built environment and mitigates localised flooding, ameliorates air quality, improves our health and wellbeing, and creates attractive places where people want to be."

Dr Milliken said: "Successful adaptation is rooted in the ability to design for the future. Our training will involve getting communities to forecast for the future and to think about urban planning in relation to a changing climate and other variables, such as population growth.  

"We will be using some great case studies from the UK. This includes the All London Green Grid, which is internationally recognised as an exemplary plan for providing an interlinked network of high-quality open spaces stretching across the city, from the urban fringe to the heart of the metropolis."

For more information, visit the project website here.