What I’ve Learned So Far – Block 6 – Cities and Towns

I’ve completed my first year studying toward BSc (Hons) Environmental Science, this is what I’ve learned…

In this block, our final one, we were introduced to Green Infrastructure; what it is and how it is beneficial. We need to be honest with ourselves and admit that summers are only going to get hotter, towns and cities need to adapt to this.

I never realised how important Green Infrastructure is to an area, of course it has wider benefits, but flood management, cooling, mental health, social cohesion, the benefits are endless. I know what you’re thinking, this all costs money, sadly yes, and therein lies the barrier.

The block also focussed on future sustainability and how a town/city have been designed in the past and how they may be able to rely less on fossil fuels and ultimately become self-sufficient. We rely on many factors to live our lives but if the production line from one area is disrupted i.e. in a pandemic, what effect does that have locally and what measures could be put in place to reduce or even eliminate a reduction in goods or services.

As I was walking around my local town, I started looking at the green infrastructure. Trees are great in helping with flood management but I don’t understand why an estate has been built along a river. It’s not on the river itself, about 20 metres away but the land was also a brownfield site so there is a strong possibility of flooding. I appreciate a growing population needs homes but I’m not entirely sure whether the sea level rise or potential flooding was a consideration in the decision-making process behind this development. A local estate built about four or so year ago regularly floods. I’ve only driven on the estate once but I must admit, I don’t recall seeing a large amount of green spaces or trees.

The Tutor-Marked Assignment for this was to write a report for our chosen town about the importance of Green Infrastructure and urban sustainability for the town/city and the benefits. It was 1200 words and I have to admit, my brain went into overdrive. I was absolutely oozing with ideas that I was way over my word count and had to reduce it.

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