Incorporating Plants and Enhancing Biodiversity in Buildings and Urban Environments
Routledge – 2015 – 336 pages
Routledge – 2015 – 336 pages
With more than half of the world's population now living in urban areas, it is vitally important that towns and cities are healthy places to live. The principal aim of this book is to synthesize the disparate literature on the use of vegetation in the built environment and its multifunctional benefits to humans. The author reviews issues such as: contact with wildlife and its immediate and long-term effects on psychological and physical wellbeing; the role of vegetation in removing health-damaging pollutants from the air; green roofs and green walls, which provide insulation, reduce energy use and decrease the carbon footprint of buildings; and structural vegetation such as street trees, providing shading and air circulation whilst also helping to stop flash-floods through surface drainage. Examples are used throughout to illustrate the practical use of vegetation to improve the urban environment and deliver ecosystem services.
Whilst the underlying theme is the value of biodiversity, the emphasis is less on existing high value green spaces (such as nature reserves, parks and gardens), than on the sealed surfaces of urban areas (building surfaces, roads, car parks, plazas, etc.). The book shows how these, and the spaces they encapsulate, can be modified to meet current and future environmental challenges including climate change. Improvement of low value existing greenspace is also covered to provide a comprehensive textbook of international relevance.
"This book comes at exactly the right time. The term 'Green Infrastructure' symbolizes new thinking in relation to planning and constructing cities. Vegetation offers many benefits to urban dwellers, and now is the time to integrate this knowledge into city planning procedures. Around the world, examples of GI now exist and national and international associations support and disseminate such ideas. This textbook highlights many such examples to introduce the concepts to a wider audience. I wish this book as many readers as possible; first of all students of related disciplines to take these ideas as seed into their future business lives, and also urban developers to integrate this new thinking into their daily business to spread out more green than grey infrastructure around the globe." – Manfred Koehler, Professor of Landscape Ecology, University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg, Germany, President of the World Green Infrastructure Network.
"This is a very thoughtful, timely and comprehensive book. If our cities are to be considered as being truly sustainable then the integrated provision of green spaces will be a vital component of that sustainability. Green Infrastructure will help us to do just that." – Richard Sabin, Director, Living Green City, UK.
1. What is Green Infrastructure? 2. Benefits of Green Infrastructure 3. Indoors 4. Permeable Pavements 5. Green Walls 6. Green Roofs 7. Street Trees 8. Policy, Regulation and Incentives
John W. Dover is Professor of Ecology at Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK.