19th May 2021

Net Zero NLA Think Tank – One year on from our climate charter

As we become Programme Champions for the New London Architecture (NLA) Net Zero work stream, our London Director Gareth Atkinson takes a look at net zero one year on from when we launched our climate charter. Article previously published on NLA website / newsletter.

Fundamentally, a climate resilient city is a city that is loved and cared for by its inhabitants, its visitors, and its governors.  How we engineer and design our cities is fundamental to how they can become more sustainable, more functional and more enjoyable places to work and live.

As designers we know our responsibilities. Net Zero targets have been set and the gauntlet laid down.  We know we have to push hard to repurpose, reuse and adapt the buildings, streets and places that make up our cities.  We need to embrace the embodied carbon already in our buildings and adapt them for the future.

We also need to reimagine our streets and spaces between buildings to make them sponges for carbon emissions and adapt them to help control surface water – especially as storm events and intense sun will become more prevalent with a more unpredictable climate.  Civic Engineers’ Climate Charter reminds our engineers to achieve this while making our cities better, more biodiverse and healthier places to be.

Redesigning city streets to be climate resilient are easy wins. Winning over the hearts and minds to allow the changes to happen is where the hard work is.  Image credits left: Gareth Atkinson, Civic Engineers; top right: Civic Engineers; bottom right:  Kevin Barton, Bob Bray Associates.
Net Zero NLA Think Tank – One year on from our climate charter