Underpinning all this is South Essex’s aim to be carbon zero by 2040, with significant progress by 2030. How successful the region is in this aim will highly depend on reducing emissions from transport.
To support new modes of living and quality of life, South Essex also wants to invest in its green and blue infrastructure and not see them as a ‘nice to have’ but rather core to all project work moving forwards. The Green and Blue Infrastructure Study by Alexandra Steed URBAN, commissioned by South Essex Councils, has won industry awards. Along with the mapping and design guidance being developed by Defra and Natural England, this will help South Essex and the Thames Estuary to become an exemplar of good green infrastructure delivery, benefiting the economy, people and the environment of the region, and helping to deliver biodiversity net gain and net zero carbon.
The long-term vision is the creation of one single park system that encompasses all of South Essex. A South Essex Estuary Park (SEEPARK) will be framed by five large-scale landscapes and an improved network of blue and green connectors. These five sites include flood zones, habitats, existing parkland, riverfront, former industrial sites, agriculture land, and special historical features and landmarks:
- Island Wetlands
- Central Thames Marshlands
- Central Woodland Arc
- Mardyke Valley
- Brentwood Parklands