Of interest to many transport consultants and those that rely on their services and expertise, will be the recent release of a report by the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT), setting out how the implementation of Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI) can help tackle the climate emergency. 

More specifically, the publication outlines the role that GBI can play in delivering green, resilient and accessible spaces, as well as healthier sustainable transport options. 

What actually is Green and Blue Infrastructure? 

The term ‘Green and Blue Infrastructure’, or GBI, refers to the combination of natural and semi-natural structures, features, and interventions that can provide a locality with important functions and benefits. 

The “green” referenced in the term relates to all manner of green features, such as natural and semi-natural vegetation, green roofs and green walls, street trees, grasslands, woodlands, and parks. 

Meanwhile, the “blue” component in GBI encompasses such elements as rivers, canals, ponds, swales, rain gardens, and filter strips, all of which are integrated into the management train of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). 

GBI implementation offers “overwhelming”, but not always acknowledged benefits

Although leading transport consultants are certainly aware of the range of social, environmental, and economic advantages that GBI can bring to a local area, recent CIHT research indicated that such benefits are not fully acknowledged by the transport sector as a whole. This is despite the UK’s impressive heritage of street trees having been largely created by local authority highway departments. 

So, the charity and membership body has sought to address this situation, with its new report that provides recommendations on the subject of GBI to various stakeholders and decision-makers, such as planning and transportation professionals, as well as national and local governments. 

The recommendations detailed in the publication include promoting the benefits and usage of GBI, in addition to enhancing guidance for the delivery of associated infrastructure, and the need to empower local decision-makers to carry out GBI work. 

In the words of CIHT Chief Executive, Sue Percy CBE: “Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI) can play an important role across our highway network in promoting healthy and safe communities, as well as helping to deliver net zero targets, adapting to climate change, and conserving and enhancing the natural environment.

“In our new report, we have outlined a series of recommendations on how GBI can be implemented and the overwhelming benefits of doing so. Our challenge to highway authorities and other stakeholders is to make GBI a core component of their activity and at the heart of local policy.”

Read more about the essentials of GBI in the transport sector  

Transport consultants and other parties who are interested in reading more about the relevance and benefits of GBI for their infrastructure projects can access the whitepaper on the CIHT website

If you would like the direct assistance and advice from our own transport planning and infrastructure design consultants, you are welcome to reach out to your nearest Transport Planning Associates (TPA) office.


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