Martin Kelly Capita, Trees and Design Action Group

In this latest podcast interview, I had the pleasure of speaking to Martin Kelly, one of the Trustees and leading lights of the Trees and Design Action Group.

He is a Landscape Architect, Urban Designer, a Fellow of the Landscape Institute, Fellow of the Institute of Highways and Transportation and Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. He is Land Planning Director for Capita, having joined Derek Lovejoy Partnership in 1979. In this discussion, Martin brings to bear his extensive experience of the construction industry and the role of the planning system in ensuring the long-term maintenance and enhancement of our urban trees. Throughout the interview, Martin’s personal investment in promoting the role of green infrastructure in schemes of every scale is self-evident.

There is a definite sparkle of hope that developers and key stakeholders are beginning to work proactively with organisations such as TDAG and with landscape architects in Local Authorities to deliver a more holistic approach to the delivery of green and blue infrastructure. Martin refers to some of his more radical ideas as to the reforms necessary to the existing planning system in the interests of increasing urban tree canopy cover. I could not help but agree that we need some out of the box, less conventional thinking if we are to see cities with mature trees that will survive the increased temperatures and pressures precipitated by continued human development.

I walked into the offices to see a copy of the TDAG documents placed prominently in the waiting room area. A sign of the determination and dedication of the team to spread the message internally as well as externally. Let’s hope that in the future all the major house builders and developers will have a similar desire to place the TDAG documents in prime position in the future. It is through building upon the shared vision and common values Martin so eloquently ascribes to the TDAG group that the green infrastructure and SUDs agenda will gain traction and go from strength to strength.

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