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Peter Shepherd, BSG Ecology

Designing biodiversity into multi-use urban park and green infrastructure

Peter Shepherd

The value of biodiversity assets in urban parks and green infrastructure to people and wildlife is now widely recognised and the demand for the creation and development of wildlife habitats within urban green space has grown significantly in the last 20 years. However, the process and approach to design and the ability to develop wildlife habitat in urban green spaces can vary greatly from one site to another. Designing in biodiversity features can be affected by a number of factors ranging from the status and influence of the ecologist within the professional team through to practical issues associated with each site. Some of the factors that need to be considered include: requirements of competing uses; design aspirations of the client, master planners, architect and landscape architect; health and safety concerns; soil type and condition; relationship with the wider green infrastructure; local Biodiversity Action Plan targets and aspirations; views of the local community; ongoing management requirements; and impacts of future climate change among other things.  

Short Biography: Peter is a partner in BSG Ecology and has had a long interest in the ecology of cities. His PhD remains one of the few studies of urban plant communities in the UK and early in his career as the conservation officer for the Nottingham Urban Wildlife Scheme he gained experience in managing and enhancing all types of urban green spaces for wildlife. Peter has worked on many projects designing new urban green space, or restoring existing parks. He was the ecologist in the design team that produced the Olympic Park in East London and over the last 15 years worked on building in biodiversity into new green infrastructure for major urban developments in the UK and abroad.