10,000 Raingardens for Scotland
It’s a big number. It’s a big ambition. But it promises to make a big, big impact.
The 10,000 Raingardens for Scotland project aims to establish raingardens as a standard method of dealing with surface water management, flood alleviation and greenspace creation within Scotland. At present a Glasgow based pilot is working in the area around Queensland Court and Gardens, a Southside Housing Association property in the south of Glasgow.
The Glasgow project takes a leaf from successful projects based in Melbourne, Philadelphia and Portland. Given the fact that this is a new concept for Scotland the project has an initial task of simply raising awareness of raingardens as a viable solution to water management.
Looking across the Atlantic to Portland is a good starting point. The city is known for its heavy rainfall, and has tackled the issues this brings by integrating raingardens into its green infrastructure. This gives a welcome and attractive extra layer of protection when rivers and streams overflow.
In a city that is increasingly urbanized, raingardens actively absorb and filter storm water, and can reduce pollutants reaching rivers. That’s a winning outcome for people, recreation and wildlife.
For all the project will lean heavily on the expertise of landscape architects, engineers and planners, Community Engagement is a core part of the first phase of the project. That’s a wise move given that, all being well, Phase 2 will see raingarden plans and designs being developed, and the publishing of guidance on creating small scale raingardens.
Working closely with the community around Queensland Gardens in North Cardonald, the design, installation and planting of small scale raingardens in the estate will include input from residents. Public engagement and a media campaign will take care of general awareness raising, whilst a range of events across Glasgow will prove an excellent forum for communities to influence the shape of developments, and support Glasgow Council in the development of their flood risk management plans.
A project of this nature is needed in Glasgow. There are parts of the city which regularly experience flooding and which the current drain and sewer system struggles to cope with. Proving the ability of raingardens and nature-based systems to alleviate the impact of flooding will be essential if the public are to stay on board.
This project won’t operate in a bubble or silo. The team behind the work are keen to note that there is a wide awareness of other Green Infrastructure projects and a desire to make sure that there is a ‘dove-tailing’ of ambitions and actions.
Glasgow is famed as the ‘dear green place’. Raingardens simply build on that legacy but deliver a thoroughly modern solution.