Back in 2014, in response to Government funding cuts to local authorities, the Mayor of Liverpool commissioned a Green and Open Spaces Review to look at future ways to fund parks maintenance. Two of the key review recommendations were to seek external funding and to consider opportunities to create green corridors across the city for connectivity.
In response Liverpool successfully applied for funding under the Horizon 2020 URBAN GreenUP project to retrofit, test and monitor a range of green infrastructure to help the city adapt to future climate change impacts.
Working together with 2 other front runner cities: Valladolid in Spain and Izmir in Turkey the project has a further 5 follower cities in, Germany, Italy, Vietnam, South America, and China and focusses on promoting the multiple environmental, social and economic benefits associated with green infrastructure or Nature Based Solutions.
A big living wall with an even bigger purpose, we created a plant palette using 23 different plant varieties, designed to give colour and interest all year round whilst providing sources of nectar and pollination. Taking advantage of every square metre, the majority of plants in the wall have an ecological value, providing berries (strawberries!), seed and fodder. Including a number of native species, the planting palette very much supports the local area’s flora and fauna.
Dr Juliet Staples, Senior Project Manager at Liverpool City Council, mentioned that they've already received great feedback from the community. “We’ve had a lot of people stopping to ask questions and to say how much they are enjoying having the green wall there.”
“I like that it’s on an everyday building in an unexpected location, showing that this type of green infrastructure can be used across a city.”
Working with the University of Liverpool, we’ll be monitoring the improvements and successes in not only the air quality and biodiversity but also in people’s perceptions and any resulting regeneration initiatives in the local area. We’re excited to be a part of the beginning of a green avenue stretching to the coast, and an even bigger scheme worldwide!
Taking a risk is how we make change for the future. I’d encourage other LAs and stakeholders, planners, architects, and designers to get out of their comfort zone and try something new.”