Project SATURN

Birmingham City University has partnered with Birmingham City Council, as well as organisations from the other two cities involved, to create a more sustainable, effective way of connecting cities and the landscape within it. This will then ensure better results in business, economy, food growth and nature, as well as creating collaborative and citizen-focused solutions.


Research background

Today, the fragmented landscape management governance leads to incomplete climate strategies where cities are analysed independently from their natural landscape.

This leads to a bad management of the city surrounding land, which have good carbon sequestration, food and biomass production and risk mitigation potential. This project is based on the experience of three cities forming the consortium: Trento (Italy), Birmingham (UK) and Gothenburg (Sweden) and it aims to reintegrate the natural assets within the city climate change impact strategy and to expand and feed its model by creating a wider initiative.

Research objectives

The objectives of the projects are threefold:

  • Establish a strong narrative with public and private stakeholders in order to reconnect them with their landscape identity and geographical (urban, rural, regional, territorial) characteristics. The project will involve more than 50 stakeholders coming from different sectors and territories
  • Build up a comprehensive and flexible framework to guide cities to implement adapted projects about multifunctional use at different scale on the land surrounding the cities, taking into account land use assets and the cultural identity in their surrounding landscape. It will include tools and metrics to support decision making;
  • Make the initiative economically sustainable and scalable through scouting actions of funding and collaboration opportunities and the creation of comprehensive tools and initiatives for capacity building.

Research aims

Exploring governance arrangements and public needs, the work package will produce spatial visions for a resilient landscape with the aim to re-connect citizens with the landscape, create a landscape identity and engage public institutions at a regional and city level. Birmingham City University is working with Birmingham City Council to deliver a number of key objectives for the project, including:

  • Support with the creation of a holistic landscape vision, strategic development and regional design schemes.
  • Manage stakeholder engagement and regional design as well as capacity building.
  • Use past experience to create a framework for how such projects should be approached as well as spatial visions in specific case study locations. 

Find out more via the project page.