BGI design provides overall socio-economic benefits in terms of co-values and enhanced urban liveability. In addition to reduced damages, these benefits and values will typically exceed the sum of the individual components’ construction and operating cost.
In order to make BGI projects as successful as possible, many of our clients are using an integrated planning approach and start out by making a feasibility study including an assessment of the socio-economic potential, benefits and expected values.
BGI complements and in some cases replaces the need for grey infrastructure (large storm water drains, hardscape flood walls, pumping stations etc.).
When done right, the combination of socioeconomic benefits, values and lower costs from enabling natural/nature like hydrology instead of only using expensive grey infrastructure leads to substantive cost savings.
Extensive proven track record
In conjunction with our clients, Ramboll has developed a worldwide proven concept for these kinds of studies. By combining insights of methods from disciplines such as management consulting, urban integrated water management, environment and nature protection, and water sensitive engineering.
We have solid experience with BGI analyses from cities like New York, Gothenburg and Copenhagen, and for example in Singapore we were the leading consultant to develop the Blue/Green framework and guidelines for the city. We started the first pilot projects such as the award-winning redesign of the large Bishan Park. This lead not only into an attraction, increasing local values but also improving water security by following the key principles of BGI.
BGI benefits and recommendations for implementation
A major study into BGI has been conducted by Ramboll’s Liveable Cities Lab in conjunction with National University of Singapore, Zeppelin University in Germany, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The research reveals the main benefits of BGI:
- Improves water quality and instils effective stormwater controls
- Increase urban resilience to climate change, for instance, by reducing urban heat island effects and increasing biodiversity
- Create enhanced spaces for recreation and social activities, thereby reducing public health costs, improving wellbeing whilst also attracting residents, businesses and tourism
The study also provides cities with practical recommendations to enable successful BGI implementation:
- Articulate a clear vision of the liveability and prosperity advantages of BGI
- Initiate small-scale pilot projects, and actively engage key stakeholders to inspire, mobilise and create ownership for BGI solutions
- Identifying when old infrastructure is planned for renewal can be a timely opportunity for promoting BGI
- Anchoring BGI initiatives at a leadership level whilst introducing integrated development policy and joint budgeting that cut across city institutions can overcome silos that inhibit BGI.