Large-scale, transformational greening is required to tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis, and yet, despite decades of discussion of ‘nature in cities’, ‘urban greening’ and ‘Green Infrastructure, this has yet to be the mainstream, default position. A new approach is needed that focuses on visual appeal and aesthetics; ease of implementation, establishment and maintenance; and that has proven and demonstrated ecological function. Nigel discusses the principles behind his work and looks at some examples of his work in ecological and naturalistic planting design including urban roof gardens and podiums, Water-Sensitive Design, and Designed Meadows, with a focus on Sheffield’s landmark ‘Grey to Green’ scheme (Phase 1, 2016; Phase 2, 2020), and The Barbican in London.
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Nigel Dunnett is Professor of Planting Design and Urban Horticulture in the Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield and is one of the world’s leading voices on innovative approaches to landscape planting and urban green/blue infrastructure. He is a pioneer of the new ecological and sustainable approaches to gardens, landscapes, and public spaces. His work revolves around the integration of ecology and horticulture to achieve low-input but high-impact landscapes that are dynamic, diverse, and tuned to nature. Nigel was the first winner of the Landscape Institute Award for Planting Design, Public Horticulture and Strategic Ecology in 2018 and won the Landscape Institute Fellows Award for Most Outstanding Project 2018.
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