Salford’s Swinton Square shopping centre has installed nature-based solutions as a pilot social value project to help tackle socio-environmental challenges such as flooding, air quality and biodiversity.
The project, named ‘Greening Swinton Square’, aims to transform Swinton Square Shopping Centre through practical and beautiful green spaces, putting nature back into an urban area.
Greening Swinton Square Shopping Centre is delivered as part of the IGNITION project, which aims to develop innovative financing solutions for investment in Greater Manchester’s natural environment using nature-based solutions as well as Groundwork Greater Manchester.
The project engaged various stakeholders on the topic of nature-based solutions, explaining what they are and the benefits they can bring to people and the local environment. Following this, residents, visitors and business owners worked to co-design the nature-based solutions that would be installed at Swinton Square Shopping Centre.
The green solutions will improve biodiversity, improve air quality, and enhance the well-being of people who work, shop and live near the centre.
The nature-based solutions that have been installed include rain gardens, green walls, green roofs, planters and flower beds.
Rain gardens and green roofs will help to store and manage excess rainwater helping to prevent flooding. Experts estimate these drainage systems can soak up 30% more water than typical grass.
Living walls, green roofs and increased numbers of planters and flowerbeds increase the biodiversity and air quality in an area, providing wildlife hubs for insects and pollinators.
Estate managers and partners in the project Avison Young hope that the project will become a trial site and case study for similar shopping centre sites. They will continue to manage and measure the new nature-based solutions to explore the benefits and impacts.
Greening Swinton Square Shopping Centre is delivered as part of the IGNITION project, which aims to develop innovative financing solutions for investment in Greater Manchester’s natural environment using nature-based solutions.