In today’s world, the importance of incorporating the principles of sustainability and community within both business and our personal lives is widely recognised in order to build thriving places and tackle the climate emergency. Our client Cora has embraced these values and used them to underpin the company ethos and operating principles. At B&G, we were delighted to be asked by Cora to help to embed these values into their new landscape design guide to help to guide landscape design on their sites going forward and to ensure that they are meeting and exceeding their sustainability objectives. Our recent meeting with the team at Cora marked a milestone in progressing the landscape design guide, which we are hoping to launch in August 2023. This article explores the collaboration between B&G and Cora in creating a comprehensive guide that inspires sustainable and community-orientated landscape practices.
From the onset, it was evident that Cora holds a deep commitment to sustainability and community involvement. Their overarching goal was to develop a landscape design guide that reflected these values while providing practical guidelines for creating environmentally friendly and socially inclusive developments. Cora’s high standards for landscape design are to be embedded throughout the design guide, which will ensure a consistent and quality product going forwards. By incorporating sustainable practices at all stages of the project lifecycle – such as commitments to Biodiversity Net Gain; sourcing plants and materials in a sustainable way; involving the local community in their developments; providing landscape designs which would be adaptive to a changing climate; and adopting environmentally friendly methods of implementation and maintenance – Cora aim to inspire others to adopt similar approaches and contribute to a greener, more harmonious world.
Our recent meeting with the team at Cora served as a platform for collaboration, where we exchanged ideas, shared insights, and explored various possibilities. It was refreshing to witness the enthusiasm and passion displayed by both parties, emphasising a shared vision of creating a landscape design guide that goes beyond mere aesthetics. Cora’s valuable input, drawn from their experience in the house-building industry, their current sustainability initiatives and community engagement, enriched the process.
One of the central themes that emerged from the meeting and from our work on the design guide to date was the integration of sustainable principles into every aspect of the landscape design guide. Our discussions revolved around implementing sustainable urban drainage systems, balancing the desire for an attractive and functional landscape design with the need to improve biodiversity, gaining buy-in from both existing local communities and new residents, and maximising the use of recycled, eco-friendly and locally sourced materials and plants. Additionally, emphasis was placed on the incorporation of green spaces that promote biodiversity, provide habitat for local wildlife, and contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of residents.
Recognising the importance of community involvement, both our team and the client were dedicated to creating a guide that encouraged active participation and collaboration. We explored ways to incorporate community spaces, engaging play areas and interactive elements that fostered a sense of ownership and pride among local residents. These elements would be important on all sites, whether the design is landscape-led or more traditional competitively purchased sites. By integrating these features, the landscape design guide not only promotes sustainable practices but also serves as a catalyst for creating vibrant, inclusive, and cohesive communities.
As the meeting drew to a close, a clear roadmap emerged for the next phases of the landscape design guide’s development. Our team, in collaboration with the team at Cora, will embark on an in-depth research and analysis process to ensure that the guide reflects the latest sustainability practices and develop the sections on the implementation and management of the landscape design to ensure that the principles are carried beyond the design stage. At the next meeting, we are looking to expand the number of attendees and gain buy-in from a greater number of departments within Cora to ensure that the landscape design guide not only meets the diverse needs from the different departments but delivers the company’s sustainability objectives.
The successful meeting with Cora has set a solid foundation for advancing a landscape design guide that embodies sustainability and community engagement. Through our collaborative efforts, we aim to create a comprehensive resource that inspires landscape professionals, contractors, and the different departments within Cora to adopt environmentally responsible practices while nurturing a sense of community and togetherness within all Cora developments. By prioritising sustainability and community values, we aim to place Cora as an industry leader who shapes a greener, more inclusive future for our built environment.
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