Pioneering Urban Tree Planting Since the 90’s

Since the inception of GreenBlue Urban in 1992, we have set out to research and provide solutions to assist trees in their battle to establish in urban areas. In the late 1990’s, we commenced testing on the world’s first soil support module. The RootCell generation 1 was the world’s first soil cell and became the primary pattern […]

Our Roadshow Travels to London

It was a pleasure to hold our latest  Roadshow in the iconic grounds of the existing BBC TV at London’s White City, the fifth in our series in 2019.  Held at the “Cool” White City House the event focused on Biodiversity, SUDs and the Highway. We all know the impact our transport infrastructure on the […]

The Urban Greening Factor

The Urban Greening Factor has been introduced as part of The London Plan and provides an easily accessible means by which local authorities can score the merits of various green infrastructure and SuDs interventions across the urban environment. Covering a wide range of options including, but not limited to, street trees, green roofs, green walls, […]

Introducing Cool Towns

Readers may remember that GreenBlue Urban have been fortunate enough to work on two European funded projects – Water Resilient Cities and Cool Towns. The Cool Towns project is reaching an exciting phase with project partners discussing the design and planning of their green infrastructure interventions, including the methods that will be utilised to monitor […]

Effective Pollutant Mitigation of Stormwater Run-Off Using ArborFlow

The ArborFlow SuDS Tree Pit system was developed as part of an integrated surface water management system to extend the use of the proven GreenBlue Urban tree pit system to attenuate stormwater run-off from a car park area, and to monitor the ability of the soil cell system to mitigate pollution levels; comparing inflow and […]

How Bioretention Tree Pits can Manage Stormwater at Source

At GreenBlue Urban we have been continuously innovating to develop engineered solutions that not only provide amenity and biodiversity value, but add the critical element of sustainability to the process of integrating trees into the urban landscape. With a particular focus on SUDs / LID, stormwater practitioners across diverse practices have been considering the importance […]

Discussing the adverse impacts of Microplastics

Today plastic is a vital raw material, integral to the manufacture of everyday products. Ten years ago, the plastics industry accounted for more than 1.4 million jobs in over 62,000 companies across the European Union. However, their disposal on an ever-increasing scale results in significant global impacts on wildlife from marine environment pollution. Microplastics are […]

Making Urban Trees Great Again!

In the consideration of what it actually means to be ‘great’, we should look at what it requires to accomplish equitable and sustainable cities for all. We applaud sportsmen and women and the heroes of ancient mythology for greatness but surely we can achieve greatness without recourse to tribalism, factionalism or exclusionary agendas. It is […]

Embedding Canopy Cover from the Start

We quite often see new developments and prominent city-centre regeneration schemes lauded and awarded for their novel approach to architecture. The evolution of building materials available to make our built forms smarter and more efficient as well as more pioneering in terms of structural engineering capabilities is also increasingly well understood. However, what we don’t […]

Collaborators Join Force for our VIP Event

It was a great pleasure for the GreenBlue Urban to invite friends, colleagues and collaborators to celebrate the opening of our new London Design Studio in the heart of London’s thriving creative district of Clerkenwell. A stone’s throw from major transport hubs it makes the ideal location for Architects, Landscape Architects, Contractors, Developers, Planners and […]

Long Term Successful Tree Planting and the Rise of the Planter

Following some activity in the Twittersphere regarding the trees in planters in Kings Cross, a site adjacent to where we have delivered trees into our cell systems which provide for adequate soil volume and access to irrigation and the correct drainage, we felt duty-bound to respond. In order to maximise the benefits of urban trees […]

Green Infrastructure Walking Tour in Toronto

At GreenBlue Urban we are constantly committed to engaging a broad range of professionals to share our experience of urban tree pit design and especially the approaches to LID/(SuDS) tree pits in constrained urban environments. Planners hold the key to setting the policy framework that enable us to develop more sustainable and resilient cities and […]

Bringing Together a Wealth of Expertise for – “Suds in the City”

In the fourth of the 2019 roadshows GBU has undertaken, having visited Glasgow, Leeds and Cambridge, the team arrived in Manchester. We have had a long and robust relationship with City of Trees and it was timely that we collaborated to bring together speakers on the topic of SUDS in the City. Making the explicit […]

It’s All About Root Physiology!

Root physiology is an extraordinary subject and little understood. It is generally assumed that roots absorb moisture from the soil. However, it is only the Piliferous layer of the hydrotropic roots prior to the Meristem of the root activity that carry out this vital function. Here the Epidermis of the hydrotropic root is surrounded by […]

Discussing Future Approaches to ‘Green Streets’ in Leeds

In collaboration with Leeds City Council, Professor Alan Simson the Institute of Chartered Foresters and GreenBlue Urban were delighted to deliver another successful roadshow focused on the ‘Green Streets Principles’ that have been adopted by Leeds, Kirklees council and other adjacent local authorities. The event was designed to highlight the importance of considering the requirements […]

The American Street Tree – Are We Providing Them for Our Future Generations?

The canopy cover of many cities across the US and around the world is made up of large, mature trees. In the US, most of these trees were planted in the late 1800s to early 1900s, making them well over 100 years old. Thankfully, our grandparents and great grandparents understood the value of trees and […]

How to Incorporate Biodiversity Net Gain & SuDS on New Developments

It has now been confirmed in the Spring Statement that the Government will pass legislation to put Biodiversity Net Gain on a statutory basis and with this in mind we have to ask ourselves what does this mean and how can we design, construct and implement bold and ambitious schemes to not only improve on […]

Evolving our Understanding to Meet Drainage Solutions

GreenBlue Urban’s Charlotte recently attended the CIWEM Spring Conference in Birmingham to learn about the ways in which we can evolve an understanding to meet new and old challenges when it comes to water management. Keynote speaker Mark Worsfold from Water UK, outlined the latest developments in DWMP (Drainage Waste Water Management Plans). He explained the […]

Innovation for the Long Term – Roadshow Update

May 14 saw the second of the GreenBlue Urban roadshows arrive in East Anglia. The beautiful environs of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where GreenBlue have delivered the ArborSystem, provided the perfect context to welcome landscape architects, utilities companies and developers to a focused series of talks on Trees and SUDs in the urban environment. Speakers […]

SUDS Source at the Highest Level

It was a pleasure to meet fellow members of the SuDs community to explore the progress we have made collectively across the UK in the design, valuation, monitoring and policy aspects of SUDs. The SuDS Source Conference was introduced and organised by Bob Bray Associates and McCloy Consulting the day brought together practitioners from across […]

In Collaboration with Private and Public Sectors

Last week saw the first of a series of collaborative roadshow events, which took place at Southside Housing Association, Glasgow. The event co-hosted by CSGN, GreenBlue Urban and Southside HA provided a platform for stakeholders across the public and private sector divide to present innovative SUDs projects and discuss barriers and opportunities for the implementation […]

Clever Ways to Integrate Space

GreenBlue Urban had the opportunity to be a part of an award-winning estate regeneration scheme in Hackney, London, which has won the prestigious New London Architecture Mayor’s Prize and a RIBA National Award.  Designed by Karakusevic Carson Architects and completed in 2017, bringing 50% of the 700 planned high quality homes to Hackney residents. The […]

Creative & Innovative Solutions from EUGIC

In the stunning setting of London’s Olympic Park, in the East of the City, the 2019 EUGIC conference showcased the best of pan European learning focused on creating resilient, healthier cities through nature-based solutions and water sensitive urban design. The programme encompassed a huge variety of topic areas ranging from the financing of green infrastructure […]

Site visit for EU ‘COOL TOWNS’ Project

Our readers may remember the launch of GreenBlue Urban’s second successful EU Interreg funded 2Seas Project, Cool Towns. This project focuses specifically on the interplay between the integration of green and blue infrastructure into the urban environment and the effect this will have on urban cooling and climate change mitigation. The pilot projects that will […]

Rainforests – The Ultimate Green Blue Environment!

During a recent business trip to visit GreenBlue South America, three representatives from GreenBlue Urban had the opportunity to stray away from the noise and chaotic bustle of Buenos Aires (which has magnificent trees by the way) and go explore the subtropical rainforest further north in that continent. Nestling on the border between Argentina and […]

The cost of soil compaction

It was a privilege to attend the Sustainable Soils Alliance event in Westminster this week focusing on the economics and valuation of soil.  As our readers will be aware, the importance of soil cannot be underestimated. It is the fabric, the building block of our landscape and for our trees, a vital source for them […]

Embedding Biodiversity Net Gain into the Planning System

Following the close of the Government’s consultation regarding the new biodiversity net gain and the updated planning requirements it is timely to discuss the implications. GreenBlue Urban have been lucky enough to have insight from specialists at the forefront, developing best practice guidance and metrics to assist in the realisation of higher quality landscapes and […]

Pioneering Natural Green Infrastructure Solutions

It has been an immense pleasure to get to know members of the SUDs / LID community working tirelessly to deliver green infrastructure schemes across our towns and cities as part of the Water Resilient Cities project (2Seas Eu Interreg funded) and other GreenBlue Urban sponsored associations like the Green Infrastructure Foundation, the American Society […]

The Victorian Tree Legacy – How did it happen?

Many of our older cities are enjoying the benefit of large, old canopy volume trees – a wonderful legacy from a bygone era which is almost impossible to put a monetary value on. In terms of ecosystem benefit, these trees form the living green backbone of carbon sequestration, stormwater interception, urban cooling in our urban […]

Designing for Retail

There have been a number of publications reflecting the uplift that urban trees and high-quality landscape can achieve when it comes to areas specifically weighted toward retail and commercial use.  The work that Treeconomics have undertaken with is a case in point. The growth of research which tries to quantify and attribute a qualitative value […]

Trees: “Frontline” Bulwark in Combatting Air Pollution

What single thing can you incorporate into a city which increases in value every year it exists? What item will remind you of seasons, enhance property value, provide shade, urban cooling and stormwater attenuation whilst simultaneously boosting retail sales, improve social cohesion and reduce crime?  Well as it happens, this same entity – (it can […]

Maximising Land Value through SuDS

As we all are aware, land is a limited commodity – it’s not being made anymore. Pressure on housing means that as economies we need to provide homes for our increasing population, and there is a strong case for resisting urban sprawl into our green fields. Land values have reflected these challenges, with a direct […]

Cool Towns Meet Up

It is a great pleasure that GreenBlue Urban have become partners on a second successful EU Interreg program in the 2Seas area – “Cool Towns”. This project will be specifically focused on developing tools and capacity building resources to ensure that towns and cities across the 2Seas area and beyond will be able to design, […]

It’s a HAPPY NEW YEAR for Welsh SUDs!

Following a series of consultations on Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS), Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 comes into force in Wales this new year. From January 7th 2019, all proposed new developments with 1 house or more in Wales are required to include SuDS and must comply with the Welsh […]

Protecting our Trees for the Long Term

Below we detail the steps urban landscape professionals and residents alike should take in preserving and protecting prized trees of all size and age that find themselves in danger from the consequences of the urban environment. Unlike most things that depreciate with age, trees increase in value over time and provide more benefits as they mature, […]

A More Sustainable Option Under Ground

Most people understand the problems associated with single-use plastics, with many companies around the world making every effort to ensure that their value chain is more ethical and sustainable. We have a collective responsibility to the environment and to future generations to ensure that our business practices now are setting a gold standard for the […]

Enhancing Urban Tree Drought Tolerance

Through Tree Planting Pit Design The long hot summer of 2018 is still very much on our minds, and at GreenBlue Urban we have been studying the implications of such weather patterns on urban trees. What trees did well? Which failed to survive and reach the autumn – and why? Very useful work has already […]

Encouraging Increase in Retail Sales with Urban Trees

Over the years, research institutes around the world have studied the importance of having trees in shopping areas, proving that the presence of healthy mature trees positively influences shopping behavior. One study done by the University of Washington examined the connection between trees and people’s response to shopping locations. The research found that shoppers respond […]

High Level Talks at Landscape Below Ground IV

GreenBlue Urban were pleased to sponsor, exhibit, and speak at the fourth Landscape Below Ground Conference hosted in Lisle, Illinois. This industry-leading event is held every 10 years, and although they are shortening this to every five years, it is an important event for GreenBlue Urban to attend. Attendees came from all over the world […]

A Tour of Greener Grangetown

Opened just recently, the pioneering SUDs scheme, ‘Greener Grangetown’, is situated in the heart of Cardiff city centre. Whilst we can point you to the technical details of the scheme and wax lyrical about the hydrology and engineering involved, this blog focuses on the human and community narrative surrounding this project. Ian Titherington, lead Drainage […]

Defining Urban Tree Canopy Cover

By Kieron Doick To appreciate the total contribution of an urban forest (defined as all the trees in the urban realm) to the livability of a city, we need a city-wide tree survey, right? Well, partially. It’s true that one cannot beat a full inventory appraisal or, alternatively, a statistically representative survey – via an […]

Time to Reflect on Value

This year professionals from the length and breadth of the country and beyond gathered in Greenwich for the Landscape Institute Valuing Landscape Conference discussions related to how the concept of value relates to the landscape profession. The term value is loaded and presents those of us working to achieve the highest quality schemes with a […]

Soils & Trees – Choosing the Right Solution

Supporting our work with arborists, GreenBlue were proud to sponsor this year’s Arb Association Conference “Soils & Trees” held on the stunning campus of the University of Exeter in Devon County, UK. GreenBlue Urban has always advocated the value of the right soil specification for our ArborSystem and ArborFlow SUDs / LID tree pits. Indeed, […]

Water Resilient Cities Update: Middelburg Test Site

An update from another project partner, the municipality of Middelburg As part of our work in the EU Interreg project, Water Resilient Cities, we are working with a Dutch partner, Middelburg municipality in Zeeland to implement SUDs tree pits using the GreenBlue Urban Arborflow system. The city of Middelburg dates back possibly to the late […]

Why Species Selection Is So Important when Planting Urban Trees

Working with associations that encourage urban designers and policy makers to create more sustainable and livable urban areas is exactly what GreenBlue Urban are all about. Organizations like the Urban Design Forum and Urban Design London work hard to ensure that the cities we build are places where people want to live, work, and play. Mature urban trees […]

How GreenBlue Support the Arb Vision

Twenty-five years after our inception, GreenBlue Urban have developed solutions we are proud of but we don’t stop and stagnate! It is through our work with Arboriculturalists that we are truly able to understand the complexities of our most precious assets – trees. Our focus is on providing the most robust, structural soil support systems […]

GreenBlue Urban Host a Trial Tree Pit Event

On a very warm summers day – Independence Day to be precise, GreenBlue were pleased to invite contractors onsite to their Headquarters in Bodiam, East Sussex, the first to witness RootSpace 400 –   the next generation Soil Cell solution. The day commenced with a tour of their onsite manufacturing facility by which both StrataCell and […]

Why Urban Tree Planting Encourages Modal Shift

Modal shift is one of the most urgent goals in our urban areas; defined as replacing a saturated means of transport with another to make the first less congested. Normally it is used in the context of reducing our reliance on private vehicle use, and encouraging the use of public transport, or even better, walking […]

Maximising Development Through Sustainable Urban Design

At GreenBlue Urban one of the saddest occasions for our team is when we see lost opportunities to integrate multifunctional tree pit solutions on developments. What we mean by this is that at some stage through the design process, the scope of the landscaping plan for a site is altered and the vision diluted, resulting […]

How Trees Improve Air Quality

We are all aware of the facts and figures relating to the effects of poor air quality on both human and animal populations across our urban environments. Indeed, there are communities in semi-rural areas and smaller towns and cities suffering from poor quality air, that one wouldn’t usually associate with having a ‘pollution problem’. The […]

How Urban Trees Make Cities More Livable

Former mayor of Chicago Richard Daley once delivered a keynote speech at the Great Parks/Great Cities Conference, in which he stated that “trees are contagious and when people experience them, they want more of them and they’re willing to pay for them because they know they’re getting something for their money.” “Trees are contagious and […]

Increase your Investment by Reshaping the Ecosystem

At first sight, new tree planting in hard surfaces on developments looks like an easy target for a value engineering exercise – after all trees are just cosmetic, aren’t they?… They are the little green blobs on the planning drawing which we can easily remove or reduce and no one will know or care…. But […]

The True Value of Tree Planting

With space and land at a premium in cities around the world, the need to make the case for green infrastructure and SUDs/LID has never been greater. Land use varies and clients and landowners will have diverse needs and a variety of ambitions and aspirations for the final result of their site. We often try […]

Providing Support from Concept to Installation

We understand the pressures that specifiers face in the fast-paced design world, and in particular, the fact that landscape is often one of the last considerations on a project. We are committed to making your life simpler and easier – fully supporting you from initial ideas to education on best practice tree planting and LID/SUDS […]

Trees & Water Sensitive Urban Design

Welcome to our 2018 Trees & Water Sensitive Urban Design publication – a step by step guide to successfully planting trees in a SUDS / LID context. As large free-standing stormwater reservoirs, trees have few equals. Their natural capacity for canopy interception and water attenuation mean that they are increasingly being viewed as fundamentally important […]

Getting the right solution above ground!

We constantly find ourselves communicating the essentials of the below ground infrastructure requirements for urban trees in the hard landscape. However, the considerations above the ground are critical if the urban trees we integrate into the hard landscape are to have the opportunity to provide the essential ecosystems services to those who live, work and […]

How to Integrate Tree Pits into Complex Urban Environments

For Specifiers, the use of a complete tree pit package saves time and reduces the complexities of ensuring that below and above ground solutions for the tree are integrated.  This provides the long-term irrigation, aeration, support and protection for all urban trees that specifiers work into their projects. This is why GreenBlue Urban’s ArborSystem has been […]

Onsite Support = Long Term Solution!

GreenBlue Urban are committed to successful trees; long term mature canopy cover being proven to give multiple benefits for all who live, work and play in our urban areas. To assist the contractor with excavation, GreenBlue Urban provides accurate dig dimensions, minimising adjustments required once RootSpace soil cells are being installed. This service can save […]

Soil Cells – Saving you Time & Money!

Having spent the past 25 years in a process of constant research and innovation, here at GreenBlue Urban we are confident that soil cell systems provide multiple benefits that alternative tree pit methods will not be able to deliver and that saving time and money are critical factors to the implementation of a successful scheme. […]

Why Do Trees in Hard Surfaces Fail?

All of us in the landscape profession wish our workmanship to accurately reflect the mission and values of our company.  So, why is it that too often trees in hard surfaced areas fail within a few years, or at least never attain healthy maturity? What appears to be the reason that some green infrastructure thrives […]

Tree Pits, Why, How – The Basics

Tree Pits – What are the options and why Soil Support Cells provide the best long-term solution. Hard landscapes present unique challenges to the installer but this need not detract from the project of integrating good quality mature trees into the built environment with speed and ease. Planning policy around the world provides increasingly stringent guidelines […]

Urban Tree Planting: What’s in it for me?

With our unique technical expertise, GreenBlue Urban ensure installation of our tree pit systems are quick, simple and efficient. You can rest assured that we will assist you with:- Complimentary design service – our team of technical experts are on hand to support you with the development of the designs that will enhance your site. […]

Celebrating Partnership with City of Trees

Over the last five years, GreenBlue Urban have been delighted to partner with the urban tree planting super squad at City of Trees. The team have been instrumental in delivering high quality green infrastructure projects across the Greater Manchester area. We often think of concepts such as the northern powerhouse and the regeneration of ambitious […]

Integrating SUDS / LID into a City Vision

We are now into the initial phases of implementing pilot projects as part of our involvement in the Water Resilient Cities project. Lead Partner Plymouth City Council have already begun works on site in the iconic and key commercial quarter of the city, Armada Way.   Armada Way is situated in Plymouth’s city centre and […]

Boosting Investment & Economic Growth with Urban Trees

Urban greening has been an effective initiative in rejuvenating deprived city areas over the years. Studies conducted in the US and UK have proved that the creation of public open spaces regenerates urban areas and encourages further investment. Trees are a vital component to creating open spaces, as they offer immediate and long-lasting visual impact. […]

Water Resilient Cities – Kortrijk Workshop

As part of GreenBlue Urban’s commitment to the EU Interreg Water Resilient Cities Project, GreenBlue Urban and Landscape Architect Chryse Tinsley travelled to Kortrijk to meet, teach and deliver a workshop to the students of the new ecotechnology course at the VIVES college campus.  It is vital to inspire, engage and share experience with the […]

Adapting to climate change – Urban GreenUp

GreenBlue Urban were privileged to contribute to the Urban Tree Pit Seminar held at the Liverpool BID office, organised by the Mersey Forest. The Mersey Forest, alongside many other stakeholders across the city have been awarded funding by the Horizon 2020 project* to engage in several pilot urban greening projects. Namely the URBAN GreenUP project […]

Why is soil aeration so important for tree health?

Study a clump of ordinary garden earth or soil, fresh from the garden – or better still a woodland area. If you look closely you will see that far from being a solid mass, it is honeycombed with holes and crevices, fault lines and voids. We call these gaps between the mineral particles and organic […]

Discover the Growing Potential of Urban Greening

The idea of designing with nature is now central to urban critical thought. Research is increasingly finding support for the significant impacts green and blue infrastructure can have on our social and environmental well-being and how we interact in, and with spaces. But, despite a growing evidence base, urban greening is still considered a luxury […]

Small Scale Big Impact: GIP Conference 2017

GreenBlue Urban were delighted to sponsor the Small Scale Big Impact Conference held in the offices of ARUP last week. The agenda was focused primarily on retrofitting green infrastructure and this acted as a springboard to a wide range of inspiring presentations and discussions. The first speaker we heard from, Nick Barter, detailed the progress […]

What’s next for Water Resilient Cities?

GreenBlue Urban have been involved for one year now in an EU Interreg project called Water Resilient Cities. This project aims to develop new capabilities and increase awareness of the issues of retrofitting strategic SUDs in our towns and cities. As part of the project output, GBU are establishing a network of private and public-sector […]

Thank you for celebrating 25 Years with us!

It has been an incredible quarter of a century at GreenBlue Urban and what better than to celebrate in style and say thank you to our friends and supporters from across the private and public sector. We have been fortunate over these years to have established lasting partnerships with respected colleagues, enabling us to develop […]

Is Wellness the new Buzzword..

For Urban Regeneration? The high street is facing tough times. Apart from some very fashionable town centres in popular and well-healed parts of the country, the on-line shopping revolution is seriously hurting. The hurting has generated some very valiant schemes improving the browsing experience for those addicted to shopping. It is unlikely that they will […]

GI & The Greater London Authority

Recently Charlotte Markey had the pleasure of talking to Peter Massini, Principal Green Infrastructure Officer at the Greater London Authority. The environmental focus for the GLA are addressing a number of key issues covering Parks and Green Spaces, Pollution and Air Quality, Climate Change and Water to name a few – all key topics affecting […]

How Trees Make Properties & Developments Sell Faster

Whether you’re a landscape architect or other specifier working on a design, or a developer building a property, a quick and efficient sale for your finished project can be of utmost importance. Urban trees can contribute to reducing the length of time that properties spend on the market, increased exponentially by the presence of mature […]

The Arb Association Engages Westminster

Not inside the hallowed halls of Westminster but in the Victoria Tower gardens on a warm July morning, the Arb Association organised an engagement event for members of the Lords and the Commons. It was exciting to have a tree climbing demonstration integrated into the proceedings this year with a detailed explanation of all the […]

How Trees Increase Property Values

Research has proven that trees provide significant benefits for developers and property owners by increasing property values and selling prices. One US study even determined that large street trees were the single most important indicator of attractiveness in a community (Coder, 1996). These advantages are a result of several inter-related benefits that trees convey, including […]

How the LTOA is Making a Difference for Street Trees

GreenBlue Urban are delighted to have sponsored the LTOA July Seminar, kindly hosted by the London Borough of Barnet. GBU sponsored the production of the latest guidance Surface materials around trees in hard landscapes.  This guidance is particularly welcome at a time when many local authorities face challenges to budgets and resources and a care […]

Announcing our 25th Anniversary

GreenBlue Urban are delighted to celebrate their 25th silver anniversary. The month was July, the year 1992, a landscape gardener from Hastings, East Sussex having studied horticulture, arboriculture, tree nomenclature and landscape design at Plumpton Agricultural College soon realised there were causes for early tree mortality. On a particularly dry summer he discovered that drought […]

How to Make an Unsustainable Landscape Sustainable

Rome wasn’t built in a day. And considering that it’s over 2,500 years old, it’s fair to say that it has sustained a fair bit in its day. Over the past year, Rome has improved its ranking in the world’s top ten sustainable cities from 8th place to 7th, based on sustainable environment factors. Not […]

The Implementation of Blue Green Corridors

In the last decade there has been a significant rise in the number of green, or what are now being termed as “blue-green” corridors, being established in our dense urban environments in order to enhance and maintain existing habitats by connecting fragmented and isolated ecosystems. Benedict and MacMahon (2006), in their definition of green infrastructure, […]

How Trees Help Gain Planning Permission

The preservation of existing large specie trees, and the planting of new ones, can help developers gain planning permission for urban developments much more readily. As part of standard planning permission for most urban developments, local authorities require site improvement and mitigation of potential damage to natural settings. Designers and developers can implement large specie […]

Garden cities and their role in the community

Whilst working with Local Authorities across the United Kingdom, GreenBlue Urban have watched the renaissance of the garden cities and garden village concepts with fascination. Originally planned in the early part of the twentieth century, places like Welwyn and Letchworth were designed as healthier, happier, more liveable places, to enable people to live, work and […]

ArborFlow – Installing a SUDS/LID Tree Pit

Great news we have compiled a comprehensive yet simple video for installing a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS/LID) tree pit. Dean Bowie CEO of GreenBlue Urban details the simple steps from ground preparation, laying of soil cells, root management, aeration, installation of ArborFlow stormwater panels, ground preparation and permeable paving. Watch Now! ArborFlow – has […]

How Urban Trees Reduce Energy Costs

Trees are becoming an increasingly recognized asset for many city councils, and for so many reasons including aesthetics, carbon reduction, stormwater management, and many more – but what about cost savings? This article discusses the financial benefits that the establishment of mature trees in urban areas can offer through the reduction of energy costs. It […]

Green Infrastructure as Part of Health Impact Assessments

The research into the relationship between green infrastructure and human health is well advanced, and across the world, Healthy Cities initiatives have been implemented and local/municipal authorities across Europe, North America, and beyond are applying green infrastructure to deliver added value and save costs related to health care. It is now more widely accepted that […]

Vertical Forests: The Benefits & Beauty

Stefano Boeri Architects, a Milan-based urban planning firm, presented their home city with a world-renowned concept demanding careful analysis. Officially opened in October of 2014, Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) won the International Highrise Award in November 2014. A year later, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) selected Bosco Verticale as the “2015 […]

Introducing Trees, Stormwater & the Built Environment – A Podcast by GreenBlue Urban

GreenBlue Urban are delighted to announce the launch of our new podcast – Trees Stormwater & The Built Environment. These downloadable podcasts are designed to provide a diverse range of content which will respond to the increasingly complex issues related to green and blue infrastructure in the built environment. We understand that there are so […]

SuDS, Trees and Brownfield

In the UK, mainland Europe and beyond, planners and elected representatives all face a common problem – namely, that there is a pressure to house and provide essential services and infrastructure to meet the rapidly changing and diversifying needs of our increasingly populated urban environments. When the question of developing on greenfield sites is mooted, […]

What to consider when parsing Parse

Podcasting operational change management inside of workflows to establish a framework. Taking seamless key performance indicators offline to maximise the long tail. Keeping your eye on the ball while performing a deep dive on the start-up mentality to derive convergence on cross-platform integration.

New Green Infrastructure Research Database

At the last meeting of the Green Infrastructure Partnership, hosted by the Town and Country Planning Association, a new, searchable database was unveiled – named GIRL, the Green Infrastructure Resource Library. This powerful tool, which has been developed by Dr Ingo Schuder of the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster, will be hosted on the […]

Trees People and the Built Environment

The third of the greatly anticipated Trees, People and the Built Environment conferences, hosted by the Institute of Chartered Foresters and held at Birmingham University, brought together a diverse mix of expertise from Europe, the US and Canada. This event showcased the cutting edge research from across the disciplines of arboriculture, urban forestry, civil engineering, […]

Reuniting Chicago with the River that Runs Through It

Stretching along the south edge of Chicago River, the Riverwalk is a pedestrian-only open waterfront located a level below the adjacent streetscape. The famed redevelopment initiative to reclaim the Chicago River for the ecological, recreational, and economic benefit of the city was finally completed toward the end of 2016, after over a decade of planning. […]

Throttle Pro dumps the spam from your life

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Microsoft brings Fedora to the Store

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How to Prove Sustainable Urban Drainage to a Skeptic

For the first time in history, more people live in cities than in rural areas. The intensification of new developments has exacerbated the potentially damaging effects of traditional stormwater management. The hydrological process that nature intended to manage stormwater, infiltrates rainwater into the ground where it is stored, contributing to soil moisture and groundwater retention. […]

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The History of Urban Drainage

The age of enlightenment, among many benefits, brought to importance the question of urban drainage. Until the early 19th century, London’s River Thames, like many urban rivers in the world, contained relatively clean water. Some 200 years earlier, renowned British architect Sir Christopher Wren (1632–1723) realised that drainage and sewage disposal would sooner or later […]

East Anglian Odyssey

The pastel coloured houses, many of which are thatched, and the rich biodiverse beauty of the broads make Norfolk and Suffolk – East Anglia ideal destinations for walkers and those seeking more leisurely trips. These two counties offer a wealth of possibilities for nature based exploration and adventure. However, there are some obvious challenges to […]

The Vision for Greater Lincolnshire’s Urban Habitats

There is no denying that the city of Lincoln and the surrounding authorities enjoy a diverse and beautiful network of green and blue spaces delivering a multitude of ecosystems services. To the west, the limestone hills and road verges of North and South Kesteven are proving a valuable grassland resource. West Lindsey boasts rich heath […]

Doxing the hero who stopped WannaCry

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Lancaster Council Announces Local Plans to Shape a Better Future

Last week, in a village hall in South Lancaster, Charlotte Markey; PR & Planning Consultant for GreenBlue Urban joined the planning team at Lancaster City Council for one of their public consultation events. They were presenting an ambitious new local plan for the city. There are a number of complex challenges for Lancaster. Lower levels […]

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A City with a Vision: Worcester Green Infrastructure Partnership

From the late 1980’s onwards, it has been clear that Worcester City Council has been dedicated to maintaining and enhancing their strategic green infrastructure network. The interplay between policy and implementation within the city and related green infrastructure partnerships is impressive. The team at Worcester City Council remain exuberant and buoyant despite cuts to resources […]

The Importance of Deep Irrigation & Aeration

There is benefit for all of us in the elevation of arboriculture to its deserved importance in urban regeneration. The expectations of an increasingly affluent society for a green and pleasant environment in which to live, work and play has resulted in local authorities, developers and employers competing to attract residential, commercial and civic prosperity. In […]

Green and Blue is Good For You: Presentation at Newcastle University on the Health Benefits of Urban Trees

GreenBlue Urban recently had the immense pleasure of presenting to post graduate Planning and Architecture students at the University of Newcastle, UK on the health benefits of integrating trees into urban designs of all scales and for a variety of uses. Charlotte Markey, GreenBlue Urban’s Head of Strategic Partnerships & Public Relations, led this highly interactive […]

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Collaboratively administrate turnkey channels whereas virtual e-tailers. Objectively seize scalable metrics whereas proactive e-services. Seamlessly empower fully researched growth strategies and interoperable internal or “organic” sources.

How to Avoid Root Heave & Pavement Damage Caused by Urban Trees

It’s important to have trees in cities for so many well-proven reasons, but without adequate consideration, trees in urban environments can cause costly damage to built infrastructure. The most common issue being surface pavement damage caused by the occurrence of root heave. Characteristically, trees and cities do not coexist. Trees are meant to be in […]

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Credibly innovate granular internal or “organic” sources whereas high standards in web-readiness. Energistically scale future-proof core competencies vis-a-vis impactful experiences. Dramatically synthesize integrated schemas with optimal networks.

Sheffield Tree Action Group Reacts to Mass Street Tree Removal

The news of the ongoing debacle between Sheffield City Council and concerned local residents regarding the felling of thousands of street trees has sparked outrage among local residents and has been widely covered for some time in both national and international media. “Dawn tree felling in Sheffield sparks outrage” “A dawn raid, dissenters silenced: is this […]

Permeable Pavement: The Pros and Cons You Need to Know

Permeable pavement is a pavement type with a porous surface that is composed of concrete, open pore pavers or asphalt with an underlying stone reservoir. Also considered as green pavement, it allows water to run through it rather than accumulate on it or run off of it. The precipitation and water get stored in the […]

Urban Green Space: How can the Ecologist’s Voice be Heard?

Ecology is such an integral discipline in securing the long-term resilience and establishing a future urban landscape that recognises the centrality of nature in the heart of and periphery of our built environment. Charlotte Markey, GreenBlue Urban’s Head of Strategic Partnerships and Public Relations, recently attended the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) Southwest Winter […]

How Microsoft wants us all to get creative with Artificial Int.

Interactively procrastinate high-payoff content without backward-compatible data. Quickly cultivate optimal processes and tactical architectures. Completely iterate covalent strategic theme areas via accurate e-markets.

A History of Urban Planning

To appreciate the significance of project awards for sustainability in urban development, as we’ve discussed in previous posts, it is worth considering the historic struggle to gain acceptance of the benefits to be realised from the elevation of town planning to its current importance. The term town planning was first used in Britain in 1906. […]

How Trees Became a Symbol of Christmas

The first Christmas Trees came to Britain sometime in the 1830’s. Originating in Germany in the 16th century, they became predominantly popular in 1841, when Prince Albert (Queen Victoria’s German husband) had a pine Christmas Tree set up in Windsor Castle. In 1848, drawing of “The Queen’s Christmas Tree at Windsor Castle” was published in […]

Twas The Week Before Christmas: A Story of Urban Tree Planting

Twas the week before Christmas When all through the city Not a department was stirring Except for one BIA committee The street decorations Were hung with great care In hopes that the shoppers Would continue to be there But council determined That the city’s main street Needed a bit of an uplift To help the […]

Water Resilient Cities

GreenBlue Urban’s Head of Public Relations & Strategic Partnerships, Charlotte Markey, recently had the privilege of traveling to Bruges, Belgium with a member of the Natural Infrastructure Team from Plymouth City Council. Together they met collaborators from France, Belgium, and the Netherlands to discuss an EU Interreg project which focuses specifically on communities in what the […]

Award Winning Urban Landscape Projects Featuring GreenBlue Products

Many national and international organizations have instituted valuable competitions to recognize and reward innovative examples of best urban development and planning. Rectification of decades of neglect has elevated many bedraggled districts into thriving new communities. The London Docklands Development in the UK, conveniently supplemented by the massive 2012 London Olympics Construction and upgraded transport links, […]

Green and Blue in the Land of Milk and Honey

I have just returned from a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel across Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Territories. It is clear that what connects all the people living across these borders is a love of nature and a desire to integrate trees into their public realm and private residences. Walking on a warm, […]

Rising to the Stormwater Challenge

Traditional stormwater drainage methods that rapidly convey runoff from where it has fallen to a soakaway or watercourse increases the risks of flooding and environmental damage. The “Stormwater Treatment Train” is a collective strategy that uses an integrated approach of several components – such as LID tree pits – that slow, cool, treat, transpire, and […]

Leicester and the Integration of Green and Blue

Having recently visited Leicester and the Integration of Green and Blue and with our history of delivering projects in and around the city, most notably our work on Jubilee Square, it seemed timely to reflect on the green and blue infrastructure of the city. Leicester currently has a Local Plan for consultation and this will […]

Sheffield: Social Justice, Flooding and Greenspace

Sheffield, one of the eight key City Regions with a devolution deal struck in the era of the Cameron/Osbourne ‘Northern Powerhouse’ project, faces some tough challenges and some stark choices if it is to grow ‘sustainably’ and deliver the green and blue infrastructure its citizens require. It is understandably known as one of the ‘greenest […]

Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure (2016 LID Conference)

The 2016 International Low Impact Development Conference took place in beautiful Portland, Maine. It highlighted the mainstreaming of green infrastructure and Low Impact Development (LID) in municipal planning and policy making, as well as new and existing work and research in the United States and around the world. Organized by the EWRI Urban Water Resources Research […]

The World’s Most Sustainable Cities

Sustainability… Perhaps one of the most overused buzzwords of the 21st Century. But what does it actually mean, and why is it so critical? More importantly, what cities are doing it right and making a real impact on not only regional, but global sustainability? This article looks into these points and discusses how green infrastructure plays […]

Renew Wales Annual Conference

I had the privilege of delivering a workshop on integrating green and blue infrastructure into Neighbourhood Plans and the new ‘Place Plans’ in Wales at the Renew Wales 2016 conference. Renew Wales work with community groups to facilitate and provide guidance for the delivery of projects that will help to create more sustainable, climate resilient […]

Building with Nature at DEFRA

Building with Nature – Panel Debate at DEFRA September 2016 Following the announcement by DEFRA that there would be investment of 2.3bn to improve the UK’s natural environment and that the life of the Natural Capital Committee would be extended to develop a comprehensive 25-year plan.   Key stakeholders were invited to a debate on the […]

Accessible Natural Greenspace Standards

Problems with ANGST?  Then you might need some Vitamin G – A dose of ‘greenspace’ could be just what the Doctor ordered. Accessible Natural Greenspace Standards, valuing natural capital and means of surveying people’s ability to connect with their natural environment are purportedly priorities for many elected representatives and aspirant contenders across our big cities […]

A Model for Future Planning: Innovative Stormwater Management at the Nine Elms Development

We all know that to fully realise the potential of green infrastructure across our ever expanding urban environments, new and adaptive funding mechanisms must be put in place to ensure the long term maintenance of the nature based solutions implemented. The planning system must be responsive to the constantly changing demands of our urban communities. […]

Launch of Forestry Commission’s “Urban Forest Vision”

With urban tree populations around the world on the decline, the Forestry Commission has recently produced their vision for a resilient urban forest in view of reversing the steady decline in urban canopy cover. The document, that will be circulated around local authorities and housing developers, seeks to clarify the concept of an urban forest, the […]

Renowned Soil Specialist discusses RootSpace® at GreenBlue Urban

GreenBlue Urban has been developing the next generation of load bearing soil panel systems- RootSpace® . It has been an exciting time here at the new GBU HQ producing a system with a more open structure that will ensure much easier installation and reduce the potential of soil compaction long term.  Having created this new […]

When Many Street Trees Start to Fail, Trees in StrataCells Thrive (6 Year Review of Walkers Line Tree Plantings)

As part of the Greater Toronto Area, Burlington Ontario has thousands of commuters travelling to and from the city every day.  Walkers Line is a key north-south road that runs through Highway 407, the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way), and Lakeshore Road – all major routes that head into Toronto. In the development of the new Walkers Line residential area in 2010, […]

Supporting the Plymouth Tree Partnership

This week, the Plymouth Natural Infrastructure team in collaboration with the Plymouth Tree Partnership organised a summit at the Devonport Guildhall to discuss Plymouth’s vision for trees. It was wonderful to see representatives from the public and private sectors as well as those from voluntary organisations such and the Plymouth Open Spaces Network. All give […]

Healthy New Towns

It is heartwarming and exciting to know that the NHS has become involved with the design and implementation of healthy new towns across the United Kingdom. The case studies / pilot sites chosen from a diverse number of regions are illustrative of the breadth and range of opportunities for intervention to create more sustainable, resilient […]

Raising Awareness at the Central Scotland Green Network Trust

Every year for the past five years, Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) has hosted a Forum. The goal has been to draw high quality researchers and practitioners internationally. The network plays a vital role in drawing together representatives from the public and private sectors. We are delighted to support this network which sets out […]

A Tour of the Importance of Trees Around the UK Parliament

On Tuesday 14th June, two representatives from the GreenBlue Urban team were privileged to take part in the ‘Tour of Important Trees on the Parliamentary Estate’.  Meeting at Westminster Hall, leading experts from the Arboricultural industry, including Jago Keen and Karen Martin from the Arboricultural Association, Kenton Rogers of Treeconomics, Ian Barrow from Bartlett Trees […]

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What You Should Know About Specifying Green Wall Systems

The use of climbing plants is an interesting way to enhance living and working environments. Greening of facades, pergolas, and garden spaces are an ecologically sound method of taking your project beyond the ordinary. Greening is progressively difficult in overcrowded urban scenarios, yet at the same time it is becoming increasingly important to incorporate green infrastructure […]

The Difference Between Soil and Sand

When was the last time you heard about the Sahara forest? Although sand is light and easy to work with, thousands of years’ experience in nature has proved conclusively, that good quality uncompacted topsoil, provides the most natural and beneficial rooting environment for trees. That is why, at GreenBlue Urban, we recommend StrataCells as offering a best practice methodology for […]

Soil Cells at Blackheath Hill | 14 Year Review

This project was planted in 2001 as one of the first installations in the world utilizing the commercial use of soil support cells for tree root growth. The international engineering group involved in the design improvements to this major roadway had identified a planting location, but realized that without proper provision below ground, the tree would become an expensive failure. Recognizing […]

Managing the Root of the Problem | Part 3: Utilizing Root Management Systems

With clients often requiring complete life costing and other duty-of-care obligations, it is no longer acceptable to simply plant a tree in an urban setting with the hopes that its roots stay out of trouble. In this final article of the Managing the Root of the Problem series, we discuss current best practice techniques in urban tree […]

Managing the Root of the Problem | Part 2: Poor Root Management in Practice

In Part 2 of “Managing the Root of the Problem” series, we look at why specific examples of poor root management and show just how serious dysfunctional root systems can be. This post is primarily visual because sometimes words alone just can’t explain it. Poor root management has caused this tree’s root system to colonize immediately […]

Managing the Root of the Problem | Part 1: The Dilemma of Unmanaged Roots

Every year, millions of urban trees die prematurely or are removed due to infrastructure damage and/or public safety concerns caused by poorly managed roots. This problem is largely a result of improper planting techniques, and although specific causes vary, there are some particular issues that account for the majority of issues – one of which is dysfunctional […]

9 Reasons Our Cities Need Mature Urban Trees

Trees improve the livability of urban areas for many reasons. However for several years now, tree canopy in our cities and towns has been diminishing. Large mature trees which reach the end of their lives are frequently replaced with smaller species, or not at all. Then, replanted trees often struggle to establish and reach maturity due to […]

Underground Stormwater Storage with Structural Support Cells

Turning what most urban planners view as a threat into an opportunity is not easy. Extreme rainfall can have potentially catastrophic consequences – but they can also bring huge benefits if channeled properly. GreenBlue has invested many years into the research of urban tree development, and have designed proven systems to utilize stormwater and turn […]

The Process of Successful Tree Design

Urban tree populations in cities around the world are on the decline. For over 23 years, GreenBlue has performed research into why urban trees fail and what can be implemented to change this degeneration. Arming urban landscape professionals of all trades with proven urban tree planting methods and best practice techniques is the best way […]

Tree Roots in Soil Cells

At GreenBlue, we always advocate that below ground is what counts! Well in this visual research report, we prove how growing urban trees in soil cells is the most successful way to plant trees in paved surrounds. In 2011 our special ‘Tilia’ tree was planted in a hardscape paved area as part of a detailed research […]

How Much Soil Do Urban Trees Need?

Trees need appropriate amounts of loose, moist, well aerated, and uncompacted soil in order to mature in the urban environment. These conditions enable the tree’s roots to obtain nutrients, oxygen, and water – all essential for healthy tree growth. After defining in detail the soil requirements needed for healthy root growth in last week’s post, we […]

Successful Tree Pit Design

This slideshare arms landscape architects and urban designers with proven tree pit design methods to ensure the successful establishment of our urban tree canopy cover. The Process of Successful Tree Pit Design from GreenBlue Urban  

Soil Under Pavement: Comparison of Methods

What is the best way to promote tree root growth in the soil under a sidewalk? It’s a question that landscape architects, urban planners, arborists, and related professionals from cities large and small have no doubt considered. A study being conducted by Bartlett Tree Experts, a third party tree research laboratory that performs various tree related […]

Pioneering the ‘Shared Space’ Woonerf

In order to calm vehicular traffic movements in dense pedestrian areas, urban planners and local authorities around the world are increasingly adopting the ‘shared space’ concept developed by Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman. The introduction of these open space environments over recent years has changed the way our urban landscapes are designed. A central goal of the concept being to remove […]

Pavement, Trees, & The Space Between

The purpose of pavement is simple: to support traffic loads. Or so most would think… But what about the space below pavement? And what about the purpose pavement has as a base around urban trees? How can street trees be provided for underground with all the structural requirements of engineering a roadway? In this article, we discuss the […]

What To Know About Maintaining Urban Trees

Healthy, properly maintained trees do more than enhance the aesthetics of an environment. The benefits of urban trees are numerous and evident, and encompass many aspects from cleaning the air, to providing shade, to dampening noise, to increasing property value. Not to mention the sustainable element they bring to our urban infrastructures. However, despite the magnitude […]

Trees and Climate Change

Climate change is said to be the most significant environmental challenge of the century. Governments around the globe are grappling with what to do and how to mitigate the increasing threat. With COP21, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, just around the corner, cooperation of over 190 countries aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate. […]

How Virginia State Used Tree Plantings to Appeal to Residents

Although built infrastructure of all kind is necessary for our cities and daily lives, it often isn’t something we enjoy looking at. And as the Fairfax County residents on Stevenson Avenue faced, the prospect of a 15 foot brick wall immediately across the street from their front door wasn’t something they were particularly pleased with. But, with a little ingenuity and […]

7 Urban Tree Health Benefits You’d Hardly Believe

City life isn’t always easy, but trees are proven to have surprising effects on the physical and psychological well-being of urban populations. Scientific research outlined in this article continues to prove overwhelming evidence of the numerous health benefits and advantages that mature trees offer. In this article, we discuss the ways that urban trees improve human health, and […]

The True Value of Green Infrastructure

The City Council of Edinburgh, UK wishes to identify, measure and value the outcomes that are achieved as a direct result of the street trees and green space that are provided and maintained by the city’s Parks and Greenspace service. Highlights from Keith Logie on the impact and value of trees and green infrastructure in […]

Urban Drainage & Stormwater Management Terminology: LID, SUDS, & WSUD

Global urbanization has brought increased stormwater challenges and made the management of urban drainage systems critically important to cities around the world.  Urban drainage and stormwater management practices have therefore seen considerable change over the years. While urban drainage was once seen only as a problem, the opportunities it presents in additional water supply, increased […]

Amazon Rainforest Enriched by Sahara Desert Erosion

The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose – Isaiah 35 v. 1 That man is responsible for the deserts is not disputed. After God, ‘out of the ground, made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food’ man was placed in the Garden of Eden specifically to till […]

The Importance of Urban Trees in Stormwater Management

Drainage problems arising from increasing levels of urbanization have exacerbated the limitations of conventional surface-water drainage measures. Street trees can be essential components to the management of stormwater in urban areas. Like their woodland forest equivalents, urban trees direct precipitation into the ground through trunk flow and absorb rainfall through their roots – making them […]

What is Green Infrastructure?

Green Infrastructure is about bringing together natural and built environments and using a cities’ landscape as infrastructure. It is defined as natural vegetation and vegetative technologies that collectively provide society with a broad array of products and services for healthy living; and takes many forms including urban forests, natural areas, green roofs and green walls, […]

4 Methods of Accommodating Utilities in Tree Pit Design

We need trees in our cities – but preventing tree roots from interfering with infrastructure is an ongoing issue. Utilities and other services are frequently encountered during construction of tree pits, but what is the best way to accommodate them? There are four main methods for creating service ducts through soil cells in tree pits, as […]

What Trees Bring to our Cities

Ongoing scientific research over the last decade has continued to provide overwhelming evidence of the numerous benefits and advantages that trees can bring to the urban environment, in terms of both their social and environmental impact.  This infographic illustrates a few of these benefits.  To download a copy of this infographic click here, or for a […]

What Landscape Architects & Urban Planners Should Know About Urban Sustainability

For the past several decades, it has become internationally recognized that the earth is unable to indefinitely support the type and extent of human activities that currently drive society. Sustainable development that ensures the healthy, lasting establishment of our local infrastructures mitigates this threat, and urban trees are essential to achieving and maintaining the sustainable environmental conditions […]

Trees as Sound Barriers

It is not an unknown fact that noise can reach unhealthy levels in urban areas.  Cities across the world have acknowledged the impacts of noise pollution and enacted by-laws and practices to battle this increasing environmental issue. Noise abatement has become an important consideration for many municipalities as they constantly look at ways of suppressing […]

Suspended Pavement for Urban Tree Growth

Urban areas can often be completely covered by one hardscape surface or another – which when not considered properly can mean a nonexistent presence of trees in cityscapes. Given the enormous social and environmental benefits of trees, urban landscape professionals should consider methods suitable for planting trees in urban areas. Suspended pavement over noncompacted soil […]

Urban Forests vs Woodland Forests

Trees are woodland forestry plants.  As soon as we forget this fact, we neglect the necessities that trees need and are likely to make mistakes when planting trees in urban forests. A tree in a woodland forest has near perfect conditions; a sheltered microclimate, rich fertile soil with an abundance of nutrients and humus, uncompacted […]

Trees in Hardscape: Structural Stability vs Rootable Soil

Soil structure is fundamental for the planting of trees, as well as the stability of roads, buildings, and other infrastructure. It refers to two things: the arrangement of soil particles including silt, sand, and clay that aggregate together the void pore spaces between these aggregate particles In this article, we discuss why appropriate soil structure is critical […]

Amazon’s Trees Removed Nearly a Third Less Carbon in Last Decade

The amount of carbon the Amazon region’s remaining trees removed from the atmosphere in the last decade fell by almost a third, according to leading scientists. They continue by warning that man-made carbon emissions will need to be even more severely reduced in order to tackle climate change. Trees in untouched areas of the forest have been dying off at an increasing rate, […]

Signature Tree Drowns from Poor Drainage

A protected oak tree in the middle of a large shopping centre “drowned” from poor drainage, a builder of the site claims. Midsummer Place in Milton Keynes, UK opened around the great oak in 2000, but before long the tree began showing signs of stress from improper planting. According to sources, the construction crew wrongly dug out drainage […]

An Urban Treehouse That Protects Residents from Air and Noise Pollution

A potted forest of trees and branching steel beams disguise this 5-story apartment building in Turin, Italy. Designed by Luciano Pia, 25 Verde brings plants up off the ground in an attempt to evade Turin’s homogeneous urban scene and integrate life into the facade of the residential building. The undulating structure creates a transition from outdoors to in, […]

Soil Compaction & What It Means for Urban Trees

There are many aspects that need to be taken account of when planting trees in urban areas – one essential factor being soil compaction. It is important to determine site environment and soil conditions in order to mitigate the constraints of compacted soil and create healthy tree planting conditions. In previous blog posts, we have detailed the soil requirements of […]

New Zealand Memorial Park Explains Their Use of ArborSystem

View the below videos to learn how a memorial park in New Zealand used ArborSystem to ensure the new trees thrive at their ANZAC war memorial, and remain healthy for many years to come. Tree Planting Strategy & Use of ArborSystem

Making a Big Difference to Global Warming

Urbanized areas may only occupy around 2% of the world’s habitable land, but they are the biggest drivers of global climate change. Referred to as “urban heat islands”, cities are usually hotter than rural areas for numerous reasons. Traffic pollution creates a greenhouse effect that traps heat at night. While the cutting down of local trees means the lose of […]

Soil Requirements of Healthy Urban Trees

Trees require adequate supply of uncompacted, well aerated, and moist soil in order to thrive. These conditions enable tree roots to obtain all the essential elements they require for healthy growth – nutrients, oxygen, and water. These soil circumstances however, are often unavailable in built urban areas. In this article, we provide a soil quality definition […]

StrataCell Installation

The Canary Wharf Crossrail Station in London, England is set to be the size of One Canada Square (a 50 story skyscraper in London) laid on its side. GreenBlue is proud to announce the completion of this exciting development by our UK team. View a fast-forward video of the construction here. StrataCells® are soil support modules that […]

11 Tree Experts & Organizations You Should Know About

Local tree experts and organizations can be a valuable resource not only to landscape architects and contractors working on landscape infrastructure projects, but also to local residents. Tree professionals are likely to know about your local tree ordinances and other ways to protect and increase urban tree populations.  Below is a list of the types of […]

Specifying Tree Guards & Tree Grates: What You Need to Know

Tree guards and grates have an important role to play in maintaining healthy tree pit conditions. They can also be as aesthetically pleasing as they are functional, and offer a high quality visual design statement to any public realm or streetscape theme. For over 20 years, GreenBlue has been developing innovative products to assist trees below ground […]

Pitfalls & Challenges in Urban Tree Planting

We all know the importance of trees in our cities, however urban trees are often neglected and do not receive the appropriate care they require in urban settings. Each of these photos tell a story of neglect, disregard, or simple lack of knowledge. Learning from both our own and others’ mistakes is imperative if we are to pursue […]

Identifying Urban Tree Planting Opportunities

Clearly, we cannot just simply drop trees in anywhere. To have a chance of success, tree species and location are the first priority in our goal of establishing trees in cities. Planting potentially large trees in wrong locations is counterproductive and will simply turn people against trees. However, equally often we see tree planting sites which could […]

A City’s “Twelve Days of Christmas”

Because it’s that time of year, we felt that it was an opportunity to relay the gifts that our cities greatly deserve. So we created a poem of the endowment we hope cities around the world will be in receipt of during the coming year.

Tree Ordinances: What You May Not Know

Tree ordinances are official policies developed by communities to protect trees, preserve green spaces and manage urban forests. They set standards for selection, planting, maintaining, and preserving urban trees. Ordinances seek to establish a legal means of protecting the public interest and establishing a healthy, well-managed urban environment. Tree ordinances are about understanding the benefits that […]

Why GreenBlue? The Meaning of our New Name

Previously operating in North America as Citygreen Urban, our company name was changed to GreenBlue Urban at the beginning of 2015.  The reason for this new identity is to better express our passion for green infrastructure, stormwater management, and complimenting street furnishings.  Our new name and logo were created with the subliminal message of trees and […]

Quick Guide to Suitable Urban Tree Species

Here we have an assortment of tree species suitable for planting in urban areas. Factors such as ornamental value, hardiness and maintenance were taken into consideration in the selection of these trees. The tree species outlined below represent the best selection based on a look at urban specie suitability by GreenBlue Infrastructure Solutions. This article […]

The Little Things Tree Grates Do To Make a Big Difference

Trees evolved from natural forest settings.  Where trees in woodland areas have near perfect conditions, a tree in an urban setting must endure harsh circumstances including paved surrounds, increasing microclimate temperatures and reflecting glare, exposure to wind and de-icing salt, gratuitous vandalism, and much more.  Tree grates are used to help integrate trees in the urban environment […]

The History of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs)

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is the process by which the anticipated effects on the environment of a proposed development or project are measured. EIAs can be undertaken for individual projects or for public plans, in order to ensure that plans likely to have significant effects on the environment are made subject to assessment prior to […]

Sustainable Infrastructure Requires Interdisciplinary Collaboration

The responsibility of creating and maintaining our urban landscapes and infrastructure cannot be laid on any one particular profession.  The realities of the modern planning and construction process mean that both the public and private sectors have crucial roles to play if our urban landscapes and infrastructure are to be sustainable.  GreenBlue works with all […]

How Valuable Are Urban Trees?

A recent project has revealed the true value of urban trees in the UK county of Wrexham. This first study of its kind in Wales showed that the services and benefits provided by trees to the community is worth more than £1.2 million every year. With urban space at a premium and competition for municipal resources intense, it’s […]

Street Trees & Sustainable Drainage – Call for Project

As a world-leading example of municipal authorities helping to encourage green infrastructure in their cities, boroughs within the City of London were invited to submit innovative local project proposals that deliver street trees combined with sustainable urban drainage systems (or SuDS). This project was part of the wider “Mayor’s Street Tree Initiative”. Background During his first term […]

Pilot Project to Clarify Research Conducted Into Urban Tree Benefits

Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) have launched a project to pull together research the benefits of urban trees and identify knowledge gaps. The initiative will collect and review existing research on the benefits of urban trees, in order to identifying what is and is not known. The commission is comprised of the general public, researchers, practitioners, and […]

How Much is an Urban Tree Worth?

Did you know that the lose of trees on your street could reduce the value of your house by up to 15%? Not to mention the plenty of other benefits they provide too! You may value trees in your yard or on the street for any number of reasons, such as the wildlife they support, the […]

Urban Tree Pit Comparison Study Underway

The University of Greenwich is hosting the University Urban Tree Pit Comparative Study in collaboration with Hadlow College. The research is being led by landscape architect and university lecturer, Duncan Goodwin, whose research includes focus on determining the environmental and social benefits of urban trees and the establishment of green infrastructure. “For trees to become functionally useful within our urban landscapes, […]

How Urban Trees Improve our Quality of Life

There is increasing awareness to the fact that mature urban trees improve the quality of life for people in cities and towns. Consider what our urban trees do: Sequester carbon dioxide and release oxygen Absorb as much as 48 pounds of CO2 per year and release enough oxygen to support two human beings (for each mature tree). Sequester […]

Urban Trees Save Lives

Researchers from the U.S. Forest Services and The Davey Institute have found in a recent study that urban trees can save at least one life per year in most cities and up to 8 people per year in large metropolises like New York City. Tree growth within the cities can help clean the air, which […]

Trees, People, and the Built Environment

There will be a urban tree research conference, taking place on April 2-3 in Birmingham. Three renowned experts in architecture, planning, urban ecology and sustainability will address over 400 delegates at the two-day conference. They will deliver the message that improvements to green infrastructure in cities and towns, and thus the lives of those living […]

Trees for Cities

It is widely thought that tree cover in urban areas is in decline, this is due to increasing threat from development, the effects of climate change and the stresses of survival in heavily populated areas. Trees for cities’ projects are the key benefit to support biodiversity in cities and towns. They aim to monitor trees […]

Urban Forestry & Urban Greening

The process of urbanisation alters the thermal balance of an area resulting in an urban heat island effect where cities can be several degrees centigrade warmer than the surrounding rural landscape. This increased heat can make cities uncomfortable places and, during heat waves, can pose serious health risks. This study looked at the role that […]

Urban Air Quality

Rossa Donovan, environmental scientist for international consultancy WYG, has discovered a variety of trees that can improve urban air quality. The investigation was carried out using model scenarios to develop an Urban Tree Air Quality Score this was a applicable to all urban areas of the UK and other mid-latitude, temperate climate zones with common […]

How Trees Combat Temperature Rises in Cities

The vital role of urban trees in helping to lower temperatures in cities is described in a new publication by scientists from Forest Research, the research agency of the Forestry Commission.  Built up urban environments can be as much as 9°C warmer than the surrounding area with buildings, road traffic and human activities all contributing […]

Quality Soils = Healthy Trees

It is now widely accepted by green building professionals that healthy trees play a significant role in successful green infrastructure systems in urban environments. Trees provide a wide range of benefits to society at-large and to the urban dweller in particular. Healthy trees reduce the urban heat island effect, help manage stormwater, reduce air pollution, […]

World’s Strongest Soil Cell

The GreenBlue modular StrataCell system is fast becoming the favoured suspended pavement system for tree pits in urban development projects – not only in Pacific region, but also in several countries around the world. And for several good reasons. StrataCells are structural soil cells that come in modular units, which can then be assembled to form a skeletal matrix […]

How Trees Increase Retail Sales

The importance of having trees in retail areas has been studied by the University of Washington (Wolf, 2005) which investigated the associations between trees and people’s response to shopping settings. The studies found that shoppers respond positively to trees in shopping areas, and that providing trees is an important investment for a retail community. The […]

With or Without Trees…

Famous landscape paintings have been recreated without trees by an Edinburgh University scientist to draw attention to the value of woods and forests. Dr Iain Woodhouse removed trees from Constable’s The Haywain, Seurat’s Sunday afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte, and Van Gogh’s Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun. He hopes his work […]

Trees Make Places Friendly

Trees make places work, look and feel better. As well as playing a role in climate management our neighbourhoods and supporting human health and environmental well-being, trees can also help to create conditions for economic sustainability and success. Lambeth in London offers a direct example of how trees have been implemented to create these exact […]

How to Ensure Sustainable Tree Growth in Cities

Over the last decade, the activities of numerous charities and public sector organisations have helped to put the creation of sustainable urban forests firmly on the agenda for politicians, policy makers, planners and landscape design professionals. We are most likely aware of the overwhelming amount of scientific research and evidence into the numerous benefits and […]

Doxing the hero who stopped WannaCry

Leverage agile frameworks to provide a robust synopsis for high level overviews. Iterative approaches to corporate strategy foster collaborative thinking to further the overall value proposition. Organically grow the holistic world view of disruptive innovation via workplace diversity and empowerment.

Throttle Pro dumps the spam from your life

Leverage agile frameworks to provide a robust synopsis for high level overviews. Iterative approaches to corporate strategy foster collaborative thinking to further the overall value proposition. Organically grow the holistic world view of disruptive innovation via workplace diversity and empowerment.

How tech companies are crushing it in the US

Leverage agile frameworks to provide a robust synopsis for high level overviews. Iterative approaches to corporate strategy foster collaborative thinking to further the overall value proposition. Organically grow the holistic world view of disruptive innovation via workplace diversity and empowerment.

Microsoft insists on calling AR deserunt

Leverage agile frameworks to provide a robust synopsis for high level overviews. Iterative approaches to corporate strategy foster collaborative thinking to further the overall value proposition. Organically grow the holistic world view of disruptive innovation via workplace diversity and empowerment.