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Greening Manchester

Looking across the Manchester skyline there is one dominant feature: cranes. The recent surge in construction projects across the city has seen Manchester cement itself as a thriving global destination.

AFL's Greening Manchester campaign is an ongoing drive to promote green infrastructure, including green roofs, within the city centre. Over the last few years, we have collaborated with local businesses such as OPEN, Bruntwood, City of Trees and Hilson Moran to envision the possibilities of a new “park in the sky”.

This initiative could be implemented on all new developments gaining planning permission within the city centre, and systematically retrofitted onto existing buildings.

The benefits for Manchester would be significant: improved urban drainage, micro-climate, energy conservation and carbon reduction, enhanced biodiversity, amenity and noise attenuation.

Vegetation on visible sections of roofs also improves physical and mental health, social engagement, reduced heat effects, natural control of air and water pollution, improved property values and city marketing.

Why is this important? Read on:

Residential units under construction
Developments under construction
Increase on 2017
"The largest concentration of poor air quality is around the City Centre, which is also a nationally important economic centre and the proposed location for a considerable proportion of Greater Manchester’s new housing and office floorspace."
Greater Manchester Spatial Framework Revised Draft – January 2019

Devolution and the election of a Mayor has given the city greater independence to shape how the people of Manchester will live over the next 50 years.

Part of this future lies in the city’s ecology. There are already several existing buildings with green roofs, including the landmark Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University All Saints and Business School buildings, the Town Hall, the First Street building, number one New York Street and Piccadilly Basin. Sections of the tram network also have green initiatives in place.

AFL Architects are aware of the strong links that exist between the buildings, urban space and the mental and physical wellbeing of residents. The practice has implemented green roofs on buildings around the UK, including Chelsea FC’s Cobham Training Facility and RIBA-award winning Gloucester Gateway Services.

Innovative solutions and workable initiatives can eliminate barriers that currently exist between theory and practice – essentially blurring the boundaries between infrastructure and nature; between businesses and communities.

AFL believes this region can become one of the leading cities for green development in Europe.

AFL's Green Plan:

  • Promote responsible environmental stewardship
  • Identify and manage our environmental impact
  • Achieve sustainable and efficient use of natural resources
  • Protect and promote sustainable use of ecosystems
  • Work to reduce the loss of biodiversity

We are a Manchester business and we are invested in the future of this city. We are committed to:

  • Collaborating with clients, stakeholders and partners to act on opportunities to support sustainable developments.
  • Approaching our work holistically, making decisions based on a clear view of the social value outcomes and impacts.
  • Researching, developing and promoting practical resilient solutions.
  • Working with clients and collaborators with due consideration that their social commitments are consistent with our own
  • Continually improving our performance through our management system certified to ISO14001