Turning grey to green – Ecobuild 2013 supports vital movement to help ‘green our cities’


Addressing the environmental impact of the world’s cities is top of the agenda at Ecobuild 2013 (www.ecobuild.co.uk), where significant investment has been made to impart best practice for design and management of the urban environment and more critically, where funding could be committed to support the vital skills required to make this step change.

Taking place from 5th to 7th March 2013 at London’s ExCeL, Ecobuild; the world’s biggest event for the sustainable built environment, will launch several new features in support of this international agenda, including its ‘Working with Nature’ zone and the spectacular Ecobuild Arena.

“Fundamental changes in the way we live, work and interact with the environment are vital if we are to continue driving forward sustainability across the design and construction industry and Ecobuild provides the perfect platform to educate, inspire and ultimately help fuel this important agenda”, said Tom Broughton, Brand Director for Ecobuild.

In the ‘Working with Nature’ Zone, The Green Infrastructure Pavilion in association with DEFRA will bring together ministers, government officials and leaders from DECC, DEFRA, CIRIA as well as a wealth of industry chiefs to lead big debates, policy announcements and challenge future thinking.

An important focus on planning will see chair Ian Phillips, Independent Chartered Landscape Architects and Town Planner joined by experts from The National Forest Company, Lockhart Garratt and Hertfordshire County Council.

Mike Grace, Head of Sustainable Land Use at Natural England will chair a lively session on ‘Why invest in GI?’ alongside experts from South Yorkshire Forest Partnership, The Woodland Trust and The Land Trust.

Back by popular demand, The Ecobuild Arena returns to the show floor.  At its heart will be a theatre featuring a cutting-edge programme of high level discussion and debate covering everything from the Green Deal to Climate Change, from Greening our Cities to Reinventing the High Street.

The Arena landscape is a thought provoking display* that highlights the importance of sustainable green infrastructure in the built environment. Designed by landscape architect and Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner Patrick Collins, it takes its inspiration from the endless variety of vertical and horizontal surfaces that occur within cities and the limitless potential that these offer for the greening of the urban landscape. Check out Ecobuild’s Facebook page for the latest Ecobuild Arena image gallery – http://www.facebook.com/ecobuildnow.

With more people than ever before living in urban rather than rural environments, the Arena landscape explores ways of connecting city dwellers with nature and the benefits that this can bring. Based on current thinking it demonstrates methods of enhancing biodiversity and encouraging nature in the city.

According to DEFRA, £458.9 million of UK public sector funding was spent on UK biodiversity during 2010/11. In support of this work, the ever popular Biodiversity Pavilion returns to Ecobuild.

Industry leaders such as CIRIA, RESET Developments, Livingroofs.org, British Beekeeper’s Association, Trees for Cities, Bat Conservation Trust, Wildflower Turf Ltd and Habitat Aid, will cover hot topics such as ‘Biodiverse habitats on and in commercial buildings’, ‘Supporting biodiversity through Green Infrastructure and onsite water management’, ‘Establishing a wildflower meadow – biodiversity wins gold at the Olympics!’ and case studies from the housing sector on ways communities are working with nature to improve local green space.

A Natural, Sustainable area will focus on practical, sustainable solutions to design, specification and development, working with natural sustainable materials. Visitors Check out hands-on demonstrations of construction with straw bale, rammed earth and chalk, timber, clay, lime and cob and talk to suppliers and training organisations supporting this emerging area of the low carbon construction industry.

To register for your FREE ticket to Ecobuild, please visit www.ecobuild.co.uk/register.

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