The Bartlett


Sustainable Places: Climate Adapted Cities

15 February 2023, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

TEXT: Sustainable Places: Climate Adapted Cities

Join us for an online discussion exploring how cities can adapt to climate change using nature-based solutions.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Alma Daskalaki

This online Sustainable Places event will explore how cities and urban infrastructures can adapt to climate change using nature-based solutions. 

Urban green infrastructure can help cities worldwide to adapt to the growing impacts of climate change. Join our panel of experts to discuss how biodiverse urban landscapes can be created and managed through new opportunities in employment, financing, communities and radical collaborations. 

About this event

In this Sustainable Places: Climate Adapted Cities event we will explore how city strategists are using nature-based solutions to help urban infrastructures adapt to unprecedented climate impacts, including heatwaves, flooding, air and water pollution and storms. Solutions like green roofs and walls, rain gardens and green spaces are already being delivered by the new but fast-growing field of urban green infrastructure, but there are also challenges created by retrofitting buildings, transport, water and energy systems.  

Join our panel of experts to explore how the built environment sector can help implement, manage and maintain biodiverse urban landscapes – and the changes needed to get there. We will discuss new opportunities for employment, training and skills; financing mechanisms that account for more than just economic returns; real empowerment of people, communities and organisations; and radical collaborations between health, ecology, planning, design, construction management and maintenance.  

We will imagine what scale of change might be possible for healthier, fairer and more resilient societies, and what steps we can take to make cities nature-based. 

Access information

The Sustainable Places event series will be streamed live through Zoom. Please ensure you have downloaded Zoom, created an account and are logged in before joining the event. 

This session will be recorded and auto captioned. The recording, captions and transcript will be uploaded on The Bartlett Sustainable Places page and YouTube channel and will be sent to registered attendees in the week following the event. 

If you have any accessibility requirements or additional queries, please contact Alma Daskalaki at a.daskalaki@ucl.ac.uk. Please note we require two working days' notice for requests. 

About the Speakers

Blanche Cameron

Environmental Design Lecturer at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

Blanche Cameron is Environmental Design Lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, working with UCL academics and industry partners on nature-based solutions to climate adaptation, for healthy, resilient, equitable and biodiverse places. Blanche has worked for more than 20 years as a designer, builder and lecturer, previously ten years at the CAT Graduate School of the Environment. She is a researcher and editor and co-organises events including the biannual European Urban Green Infrastructure Conference. 

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Dusty Gedge

President at European Federation of Green Roof Associations

Dusty is a founder of Gentian Ltd and the President of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations (EFB). He has a particular interest in biodiversity and urban nature. A recognised designer, technical and policy advisor on green roofs, he has worked across the world and has designed and is aware of innovative approaches of combining solar and green roofs.  A published author, he has been instrumental in writing strategic reports on green roofs and green infrastructure, the most recent of which is the new London green roof report.

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John Little

Biodiverse urban public realm landscapes innovator at Hilldrop wildlife gardens  

John argues against long standing protocol within public space and horticulture. He suggests structural complexity is overlooked in landscape design and is more important than plant choice. After 18 years caring for the greenspace on Clapton Park estate, Hackney, he produced a sustainable grounds maintenance contract that puts people first. He questions our obsession with specifying topsoil in all new projects, especially on highways and new developments. In 2008 he launched a range of small green roof shelters based on shipping containers and designed portable structures including bike and bin storage.

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Jonathan Wates

Lead Trustee at Wates Family Enterprise Trust

Jonny Wates is a social entrepreneur, committed to mitigating the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss on humanity and the planet. Over a 30-year career Jonny has worked in brand management, led a corporate strategy transformation programme and founded and led a renewable energy services business. Since 2008 he has served as a director on the Wates Group board. He is chair of the Board Sustainability Committee and champions the social and environmental regeneration agenda across the organisation, where it is now seen as both a moral responsibility and a cornerstone of long-term competitiveness. 

Outside of the business Jonny is a Trustee of Forum for the Future, an advisory board member of Commonland, The Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) and The World Benchmarking Alliance. He is an Associate with Leader’s Quest. Jonny is also an active philanthropist, being a Trustee of the Wates Family Enterprise Trust, The Wates Foundation and the William Wates Memorial Trust.  

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Wendy Allen

Garden designer at Wendy Allen Designs

Wendy Allen is an experienced award-winning UK garden designer specialising in the design and retrofit of small-scale biodiverse SuDS solutions, including rain gardens. With Rivers Trust 'Action for the River Kennet', Wendy leads teams of community volunteers to build these rainscapes, frequently in schools, which always include elements of natural play and biodiverse habitat. She delivers skills-based training workshops as part of Rain Garden UK, aiming to make rain gardens achievable for homeowners and communities. 

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Drew Davy

Senior Sustainability Insights Manager at Grosvenor Property UK

Senior Sustainability Insights Manager at Grosvenor Property UK (leading on sustainability data provision and the biodiversity strategy). Previously a Consultant at Eden McCallum for 6 years jointly doing sustainability and strategy work. MSc student at Imperial College London (joint with the Natural History Museum) 2015, having studied a BA in Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford. 

More about Drew Davy