Valuing our life support systems – Workshop 2:

The urban planning system

Ecosystems provide services that underpin human life. However, these basic services are threatened by population growth and the increasing need for housing and urban development. A proposal for new ‘eco-towns’ has been made, but has been heavily criticised and does not tackle the wider issue of mainstream sustainable urban development.

This workshop aims to examine how we can combine our understanding of the interactions between soils, water, biology and socio-economic factors to optimise the functioning of new and existing urban areas. One outcome could be producing master plans which attempt to reduce flood risk and increase carbon sequestration in soils while developing biodiversity. This would involve changing the way in which the current planning regime treats the environment at a landscape level.


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12.30pmRegistration and lunch
13.30pmOpening remarksWorkshop chair: Prof Tim O’Riordan, Council Member, Sustainable Development Commission
13.35pmEco townsPat Willoughby, Director, David Lock Associates, and Policy Council Member, Town and Country Planning AssociationNCI-pptIcon
13.55pmEcosystem services and
urban areas
Prof Roy Haines-Young, Professor of Environmental Management, School of Geography, University of NottinghamNCI-pptIcon
14.15pmImplications for planningProf Mark Tewdwr-Jones, Professor of Spatial Planning and Governance & Director of Research, Bartlett School of Planning, University College LondonNCI-pptIcon
14.35pmPanel discussion and Q&A
14.50pmCoffee break
15.10pmFacilitated breakout groups to discuss issues and develop recommendations
16.40pmReport back from breakout groups
17.10pmClosing remarksProf Jim Harris, Committee Member, Natural Capital Initiative