Bringing the built environment and nature-based solutions together to cool our cities
Caroline Romback, Construction Director and one of Copper Consultancy’s strategic communicators, brought two decades of experience in the built environment across the public and private sectors to the Earthwatch Roundtable in September 2023, which focussed on how innovation in the built environment can help to address the climate change concern of extreme heat in our urban spaces.
Expert panel on how collaboration can cool our cities
Joining Caroline, the panel consisted of Hannah Giddings (Head of Resilience & Nature at UK Green Building Council), Rory Canavan (former Associate Director at Arup) and Dr Gemma Jerome (Director at Building with Nature). The expert panel reviewed the challenge facing cities, including a recent statement by London Mayor Sadiq Khan on the risk of London reaching 45 Celsius and the perilous effects of extreme heat on humans, biodiversity, and our shared built infrastructure. The panel signposted how though proactive collaboration, industry can access a range of response opportunities; from optimising building design, orientation and reducing hard surfaces to the generational opportunities to cool our cities utilising a range of nature-based solutions.
Delivering strong social mandates, locally
Caroline highlighted the strong social value mandates and programmes integrated into many UK projects, where clients ask for delivery of environmental as well as socio-economic initiatives. This presents developers and urban administrators with discernible and immediate challenges to overcome existing flaws in social value strategies. By collaborating across project teams to deliver powerful and environmentally savvy solutions, these responses can be quickly deployed on construction projects, not only to provide long term legacy benefits, but also in support of the wider emerging environmental agenda and the upcoming biodiversity net gain legislation.