The findings of the UN Climate report released earlier this week are a sobering wake-up call that sets out the risks of failing to tackle climate change – and, the potential rewards of acting to create a healthier, more sustainable planet.
It’s clear that climate change is already having a substantial impact on almost every aspect of life on this planet; the effect on future generations will be dramatic and harmful.
It is also clear that every small increase in warming matters, and that every action taken to reduce this, is important. The warmer the planet gets, the more far-reaching and pronounced the impact of climate change and weather extremes will become.
But there is good news… The IPCC report is explicit that many of these solutions are available now, and will benefit health, equity, justice, biodiversity, and the economy while increasing climate resilience and accelerating the transition to a clean energy future.
It identifies multiple opportunities for scaling up climate action, focused on 5 key themes:
- Energy Supply
- Land, Water and Food
- Settlements and Infrastructure
- Society, Livelihood and Economy
Summary information from the IPCC report can be found here: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/syr/figures/
There are clear actions we can take every day and, in every project we work on, which enable people to live increasingly sustainable, healthy lives.
At LHC Design we know we don’t have all the answers, but our work in relation to land, settlements and infrastructure creates opportunities to transform communities. Helping individuals live more sustainable, low-carbon lifestyles. This has the potential to provide health benefits, and reduce economic inequalities, by delivering adaptive environments that respond to climate change, providing ecosystem services and enhancing biodiversity.
Examples of our approach to sustainable development currently being delivered on-site include:
A new community of 650 low-carbon homes at Gwel Basset – Tolgus, Redruth. Set within a multi-functional landscape framework that will enhance biodiversity and provide urban cooling along with opportunities for food production (including a community orchard) and play.
Tolgus has been planned as a sustainable urban extension. The brownfield site is only 20 minutes’ walk from Redruth town centre and train station, adjacent to Redruth School and a large supermarket. The existing A3047 dual carriageway, which was a barrier to pedestrian and cycle connectivity, was downgraded as part of the outline planning approval to provide direct links to enable people to opt for low-carbon transport options.
At West Carclaze Garden Village a community of 1,500 homes is being delivered, resting within the dramatic former China Clay landscape north of St Austell. The masterplan provides residential neighbourhoods, community facilities and local centres within a walkable network of streets and green spaces.
A connected walking and cycling network provides connectivity within the new community, to nearby villages and St Austell. This will enable local residents to benefit from the new facilities and offer opportunities to use active travel to reduce their carbon footprints.
The green and blue infrastructure strategy has an extensive sustainable urban drainage (SUDs) scheme that will deliver multi-functional benefits – retaining rainfall within the landscape to irrigate landscape areas and provide additional wildlife benefits.
Important biodiversity features include heathland and habitat for rare Marsupella profunda (a liverwort which colonises China clay waste) integrated into the wider landscape strategy which provides connected large-scale wildlife corridors.
Our public realm designs for Yeovil Town Centre will create pedestrian-focused streets and spaces that support local businesses and strengthen the town as a retail and community hub.
The proposals have been carefully designed to enable future town centre development opportunities, with the potential to intensify residential offerings in this sustainable town centre location.
The creation of a new events space at the heart of the town will provide a flexible amphitheatre for leisure and social events to encourage people into the town centre and support social activity and integration.
The scheme uses locally sourced Forest Pennant stone as the primary paving material and provides rain gardens, planting and new tree planting to enhance biodiversity, capture rainfall and help to cool the urban environment.