Southampton City Council is a unitary authority whose functions include land use planning, transport, education, green space management, waste management and economic development. Southampton is a major port city on the south coast of England, with a population of 231,000. Port activities and related marine activities are central to the economy, along with tourism.
Southampton CC has developed substantial expertise and experience in the field of climate change adaptation through green and blue infrastructure, with a particular focus on open space strategy and management, nature conservation and urban engineering. Work has been conducted in the past to use satellite imagery, to define the impacts of urban ’greening’ in various different types of parkland and open space within the City. A greenway network has been created within the City boundaries.
In addition, Southampton CC is actively involved with the regional Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH). This partnership comprises a group of local authorities from across south Hampshire, which collaborate on planning strategy and policy issues related to the area’s growth status. Southampton CC is currently helping to steer the development of a Green Infrastructure Strategy for the sub-region.
Through the GRaBS project, Southampton will develop and disseminate knowledge on innovative ways to adapt existing greenways and open space networks, to reduce the impacts of flash flooding and temperature increase. A particular focus will be on the technical application of Sustainable Drainage Systems and the use of different landscape types to regulate temperatures. Southampton will also demonstrate ways in which biomass can be developed within suitable open spaces, as a renewable fuel source.
Assisted by GRaBS partners, SEEDA and regional and sub-regional stakeholders, Southampton will produce a climate change adaptation action plan. This will include landscape and planning guidance, integrating sustainable landscaping and drainage works adaptable to climate change.