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Green Infrastructure (GI)-new ideas or more of the same? Rethinking green space in urban environment

26 SEP 2019 (THU) | 15:00 - 16:00

Map Library, Rm10.10, 10/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU




Senior Lecturer

Environmental & Landscape Planning, Department of Planning & Environmental Management, University of Manchester


Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong


As cities continue to expand the role of the environment in supporting socio-economic and ecological functions can become increasingly stressed. Changes in urban form, loss of biodiversity and the conrcretization of urban waterways have all reconfigured the natural environment in many places for the worst. However, for over a century planners, landscape professionals and engineers have wrestled with notions of greening urban landscapes to promote the delivery of equitable, sustainable and liveable places. Unfortunately the application of these ideals, as with those of Ebenezer Howard or Frederick Law Olmsted's ideals have only been partially applied.

To examine how cities rethink the process of change this talk will reflect on how Green Infrastructure (GI) as an idea, a call to arms for advocates, and as an approach to urban management can, and is, being used to mitigate the negative impacts of development. Using global examples it will reflect on how landscape can be considered as a set of connected networks that offer multi-functional benefits across spatial and political boundaries. It will go on to reflect on contemporary discussions of equity, access to urban nature and the role that greener cities can have in promoting sustainability offering a route map to future investment and management.


Ian Mell is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental & Landscape Planning, Department of Planning & Environmental Management, University of Manchester. He joined the University of Manchester in 2017 from the University of Liverpool where he spent over four years working in the Department of Geography & Planning. Ian's career has included a variety of academic (BSc Northumbria, MSc Sussex, PhD Newcastle), practitioner and contract consultancy roles in the UK, Europe and more recently in India and China. These have enabled him to bring together Local Government and practical policy-making/delivery experiences into the teaching and research environment through a practical understanding of how policy is formed, how decision-making occurs, and how implementation is delivered. Aligning an understanding of these approaches to planning underpins Ian's work on urban greening, Green Infrastructure planning and landscape policy evaluations.


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