A view of Portsmouth from Catherine House looking towards Spinnaker Tower

Green infrastructures research

Explore our work in green infrastructures, one of our areas of expertise in Architecture, Interiors and Urbanism

Our urban population is growing at an unprecedented rate. Almost half of the world's people now live in cities, and this is set to rise even higher.

But when cities are directly responsible for environmental degradation — nearly 80% of all CO2 emissions are generated in them — the challenges to sustainability are significant.

We're investigating the methods, systems and policies needed to plan cities that can be both liveable for humans, while not resulting in further decline to the planet's ecological vitality.

Our research looks at how we can plan our cities so that green spaces — such as parks and open urban areas — and blue spaces — such as waterfront areas, rivers and marinas — are adequately and effectively distributed.

It's also focusing on the growing need to plan new infrastructure in balance with nature, and asking how green infrastructure can support humans and animals in urban areas, as well as effectively delivering the benefits of nature in cities.

We work alongside a network of contacts and organisations, in order to co-create and develop projects that are both theoretically informed and of practical application. Recent funders include the JPI Urban Europe and the British Academy.

Our research covers the following topics

  • Nature and cities
  • Urban agriculture
  • Technology and urban agriculture
  • Environmental justice
  • Urban ecology

To conduct our research, we use GIS Mapping, photogrammetry, on-site measurements and visits, computational modelling, case study research, interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, archival research.

Project highlights include


    Involving 19 partners from 6 countries, this three year project explores food, water and energy NEXUS. It is running from 2017–2021 and will build an Integrated Decision Support System, which is an assessment tool for cities.

  • Green Wedge Urbanism

  • Re-naturing cities

  • Nature or Nurturing?

    An investigation into the application of soil-less technology in urban agriculture communities.

Discover our areas of expertise

Green infrastructures is one of our 8 areas of research expertise in Architecture, Interiors and Urbanism – explore the other 7 below.

Environmental analysis and design

Through our research, we're re-thinking the way we build cities, to better react to environmental issues and challenges, such as climate change.

Skyscraper with plants growing up the facade, Sydney
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Historic Environments and Conservation

We're looking at how architecture, community and creative technologies can play a role in enhancing historic environments.

Exterior of a historic building with statues and Corinthian columns
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Interior design theory and practice

We're investigating how architects and designers might rethink the way they approach interior spaces, by exploring how buildings are used by people.

Retro Chair, Bike and Cabinet
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Sustainable urbanism

We're exploring the models, technology and policies that can guide governments and planners to develop sustainable cities.

Sustainable housing at Priddy's Hard, Gosport
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Architectural and urban history and theory

We're doing research into the history and theory behind how we conceptualise and produce architecture and urban spaces on different scales. Explore our architectural and urban history and theory research.

Exterior of Charter House building in Portsmouth
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Design education

We're researching issues related to teaching and learning within creative and design disciplines, focusing on pedagogy, curriculum, student engagement, and learning theories.

Close-up design alphabet
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Digital design and new technologies

We're studying the integration of digital technology and new technologies in architectural planning, urban planning, and sustainability – and how they can impact future design processes.

3d printer model of a new building and city
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Interested in a PhD in Architecture, Interiors & Urbanism?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Architecture, Interiors & Urbanism postgraduate research degrees page.