London Borough of Camden commissioned The Ecology Consultancy (TEC) and sister company Green Infrastructure Consultancy (GIC) to complete a Green Infrastructure (GI) Audit for a project area around Euston, London. The client’s aim was to identify and prioritise opportunities to create replacement Public Open Space and new and improved Green Infrastructure.
The area around Euston is undergoing constant change and stakeholders have a variety of priorities for the area. London Borough of Camden and the Euston Town BID are keen to identify opportunities to ensure the area includes a network of new and improved open spaces and green pedestrian routes that prioritise walking and cycling above other modes of transport, which together will contribute to the target of a Low Emissions Neighbourhood. The London Borough of Camden are also particularly interested in ensuring local residents have sufficient access to nature to benefit overall wellbeing.
The outcomes of the GI Audit needed to align with existing strategies for the Euston area and seek opportunities which would be complimentary and additional to those already identified.
TEC and GIC undertook a thorough review of existing data sets through a combination of desk studies and ground-truthing surveys. The desk study included a comprehensive review of GIC’s London-wide database of green roofs. The survey work involved mapping all existing GI features, a nature conservation value assessment of habitats within public open space, and an Urban Pollinator Health Check.
Using the data collected during ground-truthing, the team were able to coordinate updates to Area of Deficiency (AoD) in Access to Nature and Public Open Space model, completed and mapped by GIGL. We were therefore able to highlight that the project area was mostly within an AoD in Access to Nature partly due to the recent loss of St James’ Gardens, and that by enhancing an existing Public Open Space for biodiversity this deficiency could be alleviated.
The results of the survey work, model of likely high-footfall routes and analysis of third-party data on flood risk and air pollution, were considered simultaneously to identify opportunity areas. The opportunity areas were categorised based on the local problems/risks and their capacity to facilitate GI of maximum benefit.
Liaising closely with the client and stakeholders throughout the project, the team were able to recommend a shortlist of priority greening projects that would align with existing plans for the Euston project area. Indicative costs for installation were given, and Computer-Generated Images (CGIs) of the proposed GI were created using photographs taken of locations in the project area.
The comprehensive and collaborative process in which TEC and GIC completed this project has resulted in a high-quality report and maps which will be useful not only for LBC and stakeholders, but also for the wider public.
James New, Green Space Project Officer, London Borough of Camden, December 2019: “We are very satisfied with the efficiency of the collaboration between The Ecology Consultancy and Green Infrastructure Consultancy. It was their diverse skills and wealth of experience in working together to deliver green infrastructure advice and services that drew us to commission them in the first place, and they did not disappoint.
The Euston area is a complex one, with numerous stakeholders with varying priorities, not to mention the constantly evolving landscape. TEC and GIC were very responsive and worked flexibly to take this all into account to produce a comprehensive report that goes above and beyond the existing plan for the area.
We are confident that, with the support of these experts, we are now fully equipped to deliver the best improvements for the local community, the environment and biodiversity.’”