Urban green infrastructure

Green roofs are one area that the Urban Green Infrastructure research theme is exploring

Our research

Plants have long formed an integral part of our urban spaces, but new research is exploring how they can help to tackle some of the biggest issues faced by urban planners, builders and policymakers. Research at the University of Reading is investigating the ways in which plants can be used to mitigate the impact of human activity on the environment and boost people's wellbeing. Reading academics are also examining the implications for policy and planning that the development of an urban green infrastructure presents.

Current projects draw on expertise from a range of disciplines to improve upon existing urban greening approaches for maximum impact - as well as finding practical, real-world solutions to the issues presented by their use. Current activity includes:

  • the examination of plant physiology to identify species for optimum efficiency in green roofs and walls;
  • modelling the impact of urban greening on energy efficiency and the reduction of urban heat islands;
  • the implications of urban greening for planning and policy;
  • pollution capture and soil remediation.

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Future direction

In the future, the cross-disciplinary links will be strengthened further to improve the influence of urban green infrastructure research on planning and design decisions. Other projects aim to refine and develop understanding in a range of areas, including: predictive modelling of the impact of climate change; the economic and social impacts of urban greening; and the further applications of urban greening in pollutant capture.

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Dr Tijana Blanusa 

RHS Fellow, Biological Sciences

Email: t.blanusa@reading.ac.uk

Dr Joanna Clark

Lecturer in Soil Carbon, Geography and Environmental Science

Email: j.m.clark@reading.ac.uk

Mr Joe Doak

Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning and Development, REP

Email: a.j.doak@reading.ac.uk

Dr Katherine Hyde

Lecturer in Sustainability, School of Construction Management and Engineering

Email: k.hyde@reading.ac.uk

Professor Martin Lukac 

Lecturer in Crop Science, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development

Email: m.lukac@reading.ac.uk

Professor Li Shao

Chair in Sustainable Technologies in the Built Environment, School of Construction Management and Engineering

Email: l.shao@reading.ac.uk

Dr Simon Mortimer

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Land Management and Assistant Director of CAER, Agriculture, Policy and Development

Email: s.r.mortimer@reading.ac.uk

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Future involvement

Dr Janet Barlow

Reader in Urban Meteorology, Meteorology and Director of TSBE

Email: j.f.barlow@reading.ac.uk

Dr Steve Musson

Lecturer in Political and Economic Geography, Geography

Email: s.musson@reading.ac.uk

Professor Ken Norris

School Director of Research and Director of CAER, Agriculture, Policy and Development

Email: k.norris@reading.ac.uk

Professor Gavin Parker

Professor of Planning Studies, REP

Email: g.parker@reading.ac.uk

Professor Simon Potts

Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Science and member of CAER, Agriculture, Policy and Development


Email: s.g.potts@reading.ac.uk

Professor Maria Shahgedanova

Lecturer in Physical Geography, Geography

Email: m.shahgedanova@reading.ac.uk

Professor Runming Yao

Professor in Sustainable Built Environments, School of Construction Management and Engineering

Email: r.yao@reading.ac.uk

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