Except Integrated Sustainability
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Multi-disciplinary consulting, innovation and development organization working on advanced sustainability projects around the globe.

Roadmap to the BGI Manual

Project > Bridging the knowledge gap in the field of Blue Green Infrastructures

Blue Green Infrastructures (BGI) increase the resilience of urban and rural landscapes, integrating their core functions with natural features and processes. Hurdles exist in the process of translating BGI-related knowledge and data from science to practice, and a tool that facilitates this transfer is still missing. We conducted a research in collaboration with a team of partner organizations (JNCC, IFLA Europe, BiodivERsA, and NRW), to pinpoint key preliminary knowledge to design such a tool, and collected our key findings in a report downloadable on this page.

Blue-Green Infrastructures (BGIs) are solutions rooted in principles of ecology and resilient design to issues stemming from unsustainable spatial planning. These infrastructures are designed and managed to support a wide range of ecosystem services - biodiversity enhancement, water purification, air quality, space for recreation, and climate mitigation and adaptation, among others. While the topic currently populates the academic and policy debate on the European level, hurdles exist in the process of translating key data on BGIs from science to practice. Together with our parter organizations, we acknowledge the lack of a tool that facilitates this knowledge transfer in an integrated manner.

To address this deficit, we envision the development of a practical guidance manual for BGI. The aim of the BGI Manual is to support a number of target groups in enhancing their understanding of state of the art knowledge on these infrastructures, as well as its practical application. The project sets out to reach policymakers and decision makers in regional and local area development, project managers responsible for delivering strategic infrastructure, designers, and construction managers. We completed this preliminary research in collaboration with partners active in the fields of landscape architecture and biodiversity conservation.

Lessons learnt

  • Stakeholders frequently highlight the lack of a consistent language and terminology on BGI, which hinders the knowledge sharing process in this field. Critical attention needs to be given to the crafting of a shared vocabulary for BGI.
  • Construction standards formulated through cross-sectoral collaboration are also valuable, for relevant knowledge to be translated into practice.
  • Fine-tuning policy levels (from supranational to local) is a pivotal step to pinpoint practices and streamline the knowledge transfer in this field.
  • The inclusion of case studies in online platforms and tools is a particularly effective means of transferring valuable knowledge.
  • A further added value of a number of analyzed online platforms and digital tools is their multidisciplinary nature - i.e. they bring together professionals from different backgrounds to exchange information.
Read through the details on the research in the extended version of the Report, together with the Executive Summary below:


 The research

Preliminary research - i.e. the intelligence phase, is the first step in the roadmap towards the Manual. We completed this research in collaboration with partners active in the fields of landscape architecture and biodiversity conservation. The report, structured in 4 sub-sections, is the outcome of the research.

Trend analysis

The analysis of current trends captures short, medium, and long-term phenomena that influence the knowledge production and implementation of BGI. Relevant environmental, social, and economic trends are investigated in this section, to put these infrastructures and the relevant data into context.

Stakeholder analysis

Interviewing relevant actors in the field and mapping their mutual interactions gives clearer understanding on how the knowledge-to-practice flow functions. This section of the research investigates barriers and opportunities for streamlining the knowledge transfer,  as perceived by three key categories of actors (Researchers, Decision Makers, and Practitioners).

Precedent Research

Precedents are scoped to retrieve valuable lessons on BGIs, through case studies spanning across real-life BGI, and related digital platform and tools.  The scoped categories are methods (online platforms, guidelines, and digital tools dedicated to BGI-related data transfer) and solutions (case studies of physical infrastructures built on different scales (nano, micro, meso, macro).

BGI Schematic

Data assembly

Building on the previous sections, the data assembly elaborates upon which data need to be transferred, and to which stakeholder for knowledge to translate in the practice. The identified data clusters are related to climate, water, the geological and spatial dimensions, economy, biodiversity, and dimensions of human health and happiness.





Media & Downloads

Reference Projects

Sustainable Schiebroek-Zuid

Redevelopment of post-war social housing

We developed a sustainabile conversion and development plan for the post-war social housing area Schiebroek-Zuid in Rotterdam.  The project provides a flexible and exemplary roadmap for converting the neighborhood into a self-sufficient and sustainable area. It applies innovative energy solutions, urban farming, social and economic programs, secondary currencies, and adaptive redevelopment strategies.

This project was commissioned by housing corporation Vestia and agricultural research network InnovatieNetwerk.

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San Francisco Transbay / Salesforce Park

World's largest ecological rooftop park

The San Francisco Transbay Center redevelopment project realizes the world’s largest rooftop park in the center of one of the world’s most exciting cities: Salesforce Park. The concept, developed by Except together with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, restructures an existing transport hub into a beacon of beauty, biodiversity, and health.  The project started in 2007 and the park opened in 2019.

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Atlas Natural Capital

Improving online resources for natural capital

The Dutch online Natural Capital Atlas offers hundreds of maps that portray ecosystem services in the Netherlands. The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, initiator of the Atlas, wants to further develop the website with users. We guided a consultation process with municipalities and companies to identify their needs, and wishes. Results are a crystal clear list of directly implementable recommendations for accessibility, categorization, expanded data needs,  interactivity and functionality.

Download the report (in Dutch) with our findings at the bottom of the page.

... read more >


Except Integrated Sustainability

Mattia Miccichè

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  • Gertjan van Hardeveld

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  • Mattia Miccichè

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