Knowledge transfer partnership with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust

Project details

Full project title: Development of Building with Nature

Duration: August 2015 - January 2018


  • Innovate UK
  • NERC

Project Leader for SPE: Dr Danielle Sinnett

Other UWE Bristol researchers: Nicholas Smith

Research partner/collaborator: Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust

Project summary

Building with Nature is a new benchmark for green infrastructure. Green infrastructure (GI) is an essential component of liveable and sustainable places. It brings together many land uses (eg parks, cemeteries, nature reserves, surface water), urban design features (eg street trees, landscaping) and functional features (eg sustainable urban drainage systems, green roofs) operating at the building, neighbourhood, city and landscape scale. There is a substantial body of research demonstrating the multiple benefits of green infrastructure for urban populations. Many local authorities now have a GI policy or strategy in some form, and its importance is recognised in national planning policy; but there is still considerable uncertainty as to how GI can best be delivered and maintained in practice.

Building with Nature addresses these challenges by providing a simple and flexible benchmark for those responsibility for green infrastructure policy, planning, design, delivery and long-term management. It consists of 23 standards: five core standards that encompass aspects of the planning, design and management of green infrastructure seen as being critical to its success, and 18 framed around the services that GI provides for nature conservation, water management, and health and wellbeing.

Building with Nature was developed through a collaborative Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between UWE Bristol and the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT). This sought to link existing research and practice to produce a robust tool to support planners and other built environment professionals. The KTP also embedded research and technical skills into GWT, allowed them to increase their expertise and services related to green infrastructure.

Alongside the KTP, UWE Bristol secured a NERC Green Infrastructure Innovation Fund (NE/N016971/1) to establish the need for a national benchmark for green infrastructure.

You can find out more about Building with Nature or follow us on X (formerly Twitter) @buildwithnature.

This research won the 2018 RTPI Sir Peter Hall Award for Research Excellence.

Key outputs

Project contact

For further information on the project, please contact Professor Danielle Sinnett (

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