Salford Living Lab comes to life in 2020

Categories: School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Researchers at the University’s Urban Futures Research group (SURF) are developing a Nature Based Solutions (NBS) Living Lab. It will include the exciting addition of a range of NBS installations to its Peel Park campus in the Summer of 2020.

The Living Lab is designed and constructed as part of a €4.5 million Urban Innovation Actions (UIA) funded IGNITION project. IGNITION is a GM-wide project which brings together 12 partners from local government, universities, NGOs and businesses. The aim is to create a model for green infrastructure that enables major investment in large-scale environmental projects for climate resilience. By 2038 this will allow an increase in Greater Manchester’s urban green infrastructure coverage by 10% from a 2018 baseline.

The design of the Living Lab took place in 2019 and will be rolled-out in two phases. Phase 1 is being developed by local green infrastructure developer SEL Environmental, and involves building an experimental rain garden with comparative solutions to showcase as well as investigate GI (green infrastructure) data.

Professor Hisham Elkadi, Principal Investigator of the project said: “Construction of Phase 1 will begin in August 2020 with completion due by September 2020. Phase 2 construction is with the same developer and will incorporate an integrated system with a large-scale green wall, green roof and sustainable drainage trees. These elements are crucial for urban adaptation to climate change impacts because they prevent extra water going into the drainage network, reducing urban heat, raising climate awareness and improving building performance. This large installation will offer new insights on GI infrastructure connectivity and feasibility for the wider public use.”

Once complete, the Living Lab will offer unrivalled GI experimentation technologies. The IGNITION project and the solutions it develops has a wider relevance that reaches past Greater Manchester with the potential to draw the green print for cities everywhere to tackle climate change. 

Professor Elkadi added: “The goal of IGNITION is to demonstrate that green infrastructure is financially feasible for any business to implement and can help build a better and more sustainable future for everyone”.

The Lab is expected to open to visitors from the academic, business and local communities in winter 2020.

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