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Hope for the future: why caring for green infrastructure is vital for thriving people and places 

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21st September, 2023 : 9:30 am 3:30 pm

Public spaces that are well cared for, with mature trees and new planting, create a much-needed sense of hope, a feeling that someone cares and that this place will get better as time goes by. Cared-for parks, green spaces and trees add to people’s sense of wellbeing – and generate significant economic value. Why, then, is the UK so bad at maintaining places and, in particular, green infrastructure? How can the UK do better? What new ways are there to pay for the upkeep of green infrastructure? What tools and resources can help get it right? 

Organised by the TCPA on behalf of the Green Infrastructure Partnership.  

Supported by NatureScot, Greenbelt and the Lady Margaret Paterson Osborn Trust. 

First session: 9.30-11.00am: Does anybody care about this place? 

Chair: Julia Thrift, Director of Healthier Place-making, TCPA 

Keynote speech: Lord Heseltine – a personal reflection on the importance of stewardship 

  • Francesca Osowska OBE, Chief Executive Officer, NatureScot: ‘Sharing the journey of a nature-rich future for all
  • Prof Catharine Ward Thompson, Edinburgh College of Art: Title ‘Why should we care about green space and health?’

Second session: 11.30am-1.00pm: Paying for maintenance: can investing in stewardship lead to long-term value generation?  

Chair: Celia Davis, Policy and Project Manager, TCPA 

  • Robin Waddell, Development Director, Greenbelt: ‘Green Infrastructure Stewardship and Sustainable Income Steams.’
  • Charlotte Glazier, Programme Manager, Islington Council and Ludo Pittie, Director, WSP: ‘Can private finance fund public green space? The Islington Pocket Park framework.
  • Nick White, Natural England: ‘Biodiversity Net Gain – is it the answer to securing long-term blue and green infrastructure stewardship?

Third session: 2.00-3.30pm: Facing the future: practical advice for getting it right 

Chair: Denean Rowe, Project Manager, Planning Aid for London 

  • Dr Gemma Jerome FLI, Director, Building With Nature: Why do we struggle with stewardship?
  • Kevin McGeough, Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and Mark Patchett, Stewardship Project Manager, Ebbsfleet Garden City Trust: ‘Retrofitting stewardship in Ebbsfleet Garden City’
  • Katy Lock, Director, Communities and FJ Osborn Fellow, TCPA: Title TBC 

We hope you are able to join us for the conference, if you have any issues or questions about the session, please contact Julia Thrift at ‘Julia.thrift@tcpa.org.uk.

United Kingdom


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