Cities of Green: Majority of Brits Consider Eco-Friendly Features Before Deciding on a Property
Ensuring our homes and wider cities are helping the country become eco-friendlier is a high priority for Brits, new research has suggested.
The research, which was conducted by leading hard landscaping manufacturer Marshalls, asked 2,000 UK residents on how much value they placed on eco-friendly features such as sustainable materials, water conservation and solar panels when looking for a new home.
Whilst just under a third of respondents (32%) stated that they take no consideration of the environmental impact of a property in their decision, the majority of respondents (56%) claimed they would always take this into account, with a further 12% stating they would not choose a property that wasn’t eco-friendly in some way.
Of those who place the environmental impact of their homes as a high priority, over half (56%) would also be willing to pay additional costs to ensure it was as sustainable as possible.
With the average UK home costing £232,710, according to the latest Land Registry data, the majority of those surveyed stated they would spend up to £23,271 in additional costs to ensure that their new property wasn’t damaging to the environment.
“Improve their natural environment”
This level of environmental responsibility doesn’t just stop with our own homes however, with respondents also stating their belief that it should be business owners and homeowners who foot the bill to ensure our city centres are as environmentally friendly as possible through features such as vertical forests, biomimicry and roof gardens.
Whilst many of the UK’s cities and towns have already pledged to improve their natural environment by implementing a more urban forest atmosphere, the research shows 62% of Brits believe any further developments in this field should be funded from private building owners, rather than councils or governments.
Taking inspiration from the 2019 Future Spaces research into the emerging themes that will change the nature of our built environment, Marshalls have envisioned how four major UK cities could look if they embraced the ideas of biophilic design and urban greenery.
The images demonstrate what biophilic theorists call ‘wildness’ – the presence of the unkempt amongst the order of the city: the transformative ‘sensory shock’ of seeing ‘the wildness of nature bursting through the cracks of the urban’ by integrating green infrastructure into the design and planning process.
Biophilic cities meet residents’ innate desire to connect with nature by providing opportunities to ‘enjoy the multisensory aspects of nature’ by protecting and promoting its presence within the city.
With the potential to be known as a “forest city”, the improvement to Glasgow’s overall look would be striking. With walkways, bridges and paths littered with trees and shrubbery, Glaswegians could expect to feel immersed in nature from the moment they leave home, to the moment they return from work. With the adoption of biomimicry architecture to mimic natural forms, there would also be a number of striking new buildings across the Scottish city’s skyline.
Londoners could be surrounded by trees and shrubs, as they grow on the facades of existing buildings helping to capture the carbon dioxide as well as producing oxygen. Not only would this bring colour and vibrancy to its many main shopping areas and quirky side streets, it would also help to counteract the gasses emitted from the many cars, busses and motorcycles that grace London’s streets daily.
For Birmingham, the second city could be seen to be the new “capital of vertical forests”; thanks to the cities towering residential blocks and distinct lack of land availability, the introduction of greener measures would see these blocks covered with trees and cascading shrubs to cover the current facades.
By embracing biomimicry architecture, the new addition of a spiralled building, designed to mimic the flow and natural forms of nature, adorned with plants and trees to truly emulate the power and fluidity of all things natural, will make an impressive addition to the Leeds skyline (top image).
These impressive structures would be set to capture the carbon dioxide and work to produce oxygen. Not only could they counteract pollution, but they could improve the overall well-being and health of residents and visitors, too.
More information can be found here: marshalls.co.uk