DOHA, January 16th 2012 – Aiming to foster the development of green infrastructure as a national resource capable of delivering a wide range of environmental, economic and social benefits, the Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) has inaugurated the Green Infrastructure Interest group (GIIG).
The seminar, marking the addition of yet another interest group under the QGBC umbrella was held under the theme ‘Natural Systems’ at the InterContinental Hotel in Doha on 16th January 2012.
Furthering QGBC’s mission to drive sustainable growth and give similar priority to sustainable infrastructure initiatives, as QGBC’s other activities, GIIG will perform a vital role in discussing the wide range of challenges faced in shaping Qatar’s built environment and moving the country towards Qatar National Vision 2030. This includes effective sustainable urban planning, climate change adaptation and mitigation, cultural relevance and social wellbeing and other related topics.
Dr. Alex Amato, Chairman of the Research and Innovation Committee at QGBC commented, “In line with the environment pillar in Qatar’s National Development Strategy 2011-2016, this interest group complements national and regional efforts to utilise our current and future green infrastructure. This initiative demonstrates the value of green infrastructure investment and reiterates the benefits and need for sustainable investment in this field. This group also wants to encourage the appreciation of Qatar’s natural systems and their role in the landscape architecture profession.”
Addressing the environmental challenges faced in 21st Century, presentations from leading environmental thinkers in Qatar were heard
Mr. Lee Allen, Head of Landscape Qatar, ATKINS
Presentation: Introduction into Green Infrastructure
Dr. Renee Richer, Ph.D. Introductory Biology Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar Foundation-Education City
Presentation: Nouveau Native: Plants for culture and design
Dr. Anna Grichting, DDes Doctor of Design, Assistant Professor Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Engineering, Qatar University
Presentation: From Green to Blue. Landscapes/Seascapes in Movement
Mr. Mark Sutcliffe, Project Officer - SC, UNESCO, Doha.
Presentation: UNESCO- the original Green infrastructure master planners
The Biological and Environmental Science Department at Qatar University
Presentation: Mangrove Video (8mins)
Mr. Greg Hills, Technical Manager for BG2 Global Qatar.
Presentation: The use of recycled materials in the Public Realm
Mr. Andrew Kent, Msheireb Properties' Senior Sustainability Officer
Presentation: Greenest City 2020: Vancouver
Elaborating on the theme of natural systems in a presentation that opened the ceremony, Lee Allen, a LEED AP, Landscape Architect and acting chair for GIIG said, ‘’ QGBC’s leadership in encouraging industry collaboration through specialised interest groups in the built environment is both vital and significant. Through this interest group, we want to create awareness of the benefits of Green Infrastructure sustainable design and practice in Qatar. The importance of natural systems to our lives is highlighted through our ‘Working with nature not against it’ approach to development that is certainly more relevant now than ever before. A project’s success in achieving any type of sustainable rating lies in the combined efforts from all sectors of the industry in recognising and striving for sustainable best practice.”
The scope of Green Infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, storm water management, carbon sequestration, urban heat island mitigation, improved air quality, wildlife habitat creation, improved health and wellbeing, enhanced community ownership, climate change adaptation, utilisation of renewable energy sources, and sustainable waste water treatment, etc.