University partners in EU project to create new green spaces in Liverpool

University researchers are partnering with Liverpool City Council and Mersey Forest on a 3.4M EU research project to create `green corridors’ in key locations across the city with a view to finding out how they improve city living.

In Liverpool, `URBAN GreenUP? will develop a number of strategic ‘green corridors’ which will involve planting trees, introducing green walls (also known as vertical gardens) and establishing rain gardens and sustainable urban drainage systems within the Baltic Corridor, the business and commercial district of the city centre and the Jericho Lane/Otterspool areas.

The aim of the `green corridors’ is to tackle environmental issues in urban areas through Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), and to deliver a range of environmental improvements including increasing biodiversity, improving air quality and alleviating surface water issues.

Researchers from School of Environmental Sciences will lead the in-depth research, experimental design of the technical solutions and practical testing and data analysis for the project.

Dr Ian Mell , University expert in urban green space, said: ‘The URBAN GreenUP project is a fantastic opportunity to look at what makes an attractive and useful landscape and how people from all walks of life can reconnect with nature. Delivering the URBAN GreenUP project will place Liverpool at the forefront of European research for Nature-Based Solutions.’

The project also involves University Professor of Applied Plant Diversity, Rob Marrs.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Steve Munby, said: ’Receiving this funding will allow us to environmentally enhance some key city routes, benefitting the local community, businesses and the city as a whole, whilst providing an opportunity to adapt parts of the city so they are more resilient to future climate change impacts.

‘It is incredibly important to be able to work in partnership, not only with other Liverpool organisations, but to share information and best practice with other European cities which also have environmental improvements high on their agenda.

‘It will be incredibly rewarding to see these green corridors flourish over the next three years and make Liverpool an even more pleasant place to live, work and visit.’

Paul Nolan, Director of the Mersey Forest, said: ‘Liverpool has been on the leading edge of Green Infrastructure planning and delivery for several years. This is a great partnership and we look forward to helping to deliver this exciting project with communities and business.’

The project will look to deliver several of the recommendations including the ‘green web’ of nature-based corridors outlined in the Liverpool Strategic Green & Open Space Review which was published in October 2017.

The development of the `green corridors’ will start in spring 2017 and will involve community and voluntary organisation partners.