IWSN and CSE organise International Conclave on Green Infrastructure

Over 500 people from 27 countries took part in the second Online International Knowledge Conclave on Green Infrastructure in December 2020, which was organised by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)’s School of Water and Waste, and the International Water Security Network at the University of the West of England. It was also supported by the International Water Association.

With an integrated multidisciplinary perspective, this conclave sought to highlight research tools and dissemination activities to improve understanding of how green infrastructure and blue-green spaces in towns and cities can affect health and wellbeing as well as help in making water sensitive and resilient urban settlements.

Speakers included:

  • Mr Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy (Executive Director, International Water Association) delivered the keynote address, stressing the need to mainstream nature-based solutions and green infrastructure to tackle 21st century issues in urban water management.
  • Rossi Taboada and Martin Levya (El Centro de Competencias del Agua) shared their experiences of natural infrastructure for water security in the semi-arid Andes region of Peru.
  • Dr Debashish Sen (People’s Science Institute, India) spoke about restoring spring-fed ecosystems in the Indian Himalayan region.
  • Prof. Hadi Susilo Arifin (IPB University, Indonesia) shared his experiences on how Bogor city has used the Water-Sensitive Cities Index to identify areas of intervention, in order to address issues related to drought, flooding and pollution.
  • Dr Mark Everard (UWE Bristol) focused on the importance of living within our means, and taking account of the catchment context.
  • Shivali Jainer (CSE, India) highlighted research on stormwater harvesting in public parks and open spaces, as a measure to address issues related to urban flooding and depleted groundwater tables.
  • Dr Harry Virahsawmy (Alluvium, Australia) spoke about stormwater management initiatives in Melbourne.
  • Mohan S Rao (INDE: Integrated Design, India) shared his work and experiences exploring and working in Hampi, focusing on the traditional wisdom of water systems.
  • Mayank Mishra (ShiFt Studios, India) shared the case study of the unique campus masterplan for IIT Jodhpur, located in an arid area of India.
  • S. Vishwanath (Biome Environmental, India) highlighted his experiences of urban lake and aquifer rejuvenation and management in Bengaluru and their importance as blue-green infrastructure.
  • Dr Tanuja Aryananda (Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum, Sri Lanka) focused on Sri Lanka’s journey of mainstreaming roof-top rainwater harvesting in urban areas of Sri Lanka.
  • Dr Vinod Gupta (Space Design Consultants, India) shared his experiences of designing various green buildings, including residential and institutional spaces.
  • Jamie Ewert (Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, CRCWSC, Australia) introduced CRCWSC’s Water-Sensitive Cities Index tool, a benchmarking tool which ranks cities on water-sensitivity across 34 indicators.
  • Dr James Grellier (University of Exeter, UK) introduced the BlueHealth Toolkit, which aims to understand the linkages between urban blue infrastructure and public health.
  • Jay Bhagwan (Water Research Commission, South Africa) talked about the integration of spatial planning policy and practice with Water-Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD), and the importance of bottom-up approaches and the strengthening of local institutions for the successful implementation of WSUD strategies.
  • Dr Pawel Licznar (Retencja, Poland) highlighted the Polish National Rainfall Atlas (PANDa), which provides spatial rainfall maps for urban areas of Poland.
  • McKenna Davis (Ecologic Institute, Berlin) talked about the various policy, planning and financial instruments which have been used in Germany and Poland.
  • Himansu Sekhar Mishra (Estonian University of Life Sciences) presented the BlueHealth Environmental Assessment Tool (BEAT), which is part of the BlueHealth toolkit.

More information about the conclave is available here, and recordings of the Day 1 and Day 2 presentations are on YouTube.