Green Gown Awards 2016 Facilities and Services Nottingham Trent University Finalist

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“Greening the City”

Nottingham Trent University is one of the largest and most popular universities in the UK. Nearly 27,000 students study with us across three campuses in Nottingham.

Last year, in direct response to student feedback, the NTU Environment team launched ‘Greening the City’ – a student-driven initiative to build more green infrastructures at our City site. We asked students and staff what's important to them about the environment in which they study and work, and they told us they’d like more gardens and green spaces. We listened! And we’ve already created two new garden spaces at our City site – Boots Library Garden and Dryden Corner Garden.

We’ve plenty more in the pipeline, and we hope that our work on ‘Greening the City’ will continue to strengthen local ties, support the local community and enhance Nottingham’s biodiversity.

Top 3 learnings

1 Pound for pound, green is great value for student satisfaction. Never underestimate how much students "love a bit of grass" (direct quote from a 3rd year business student). Our small green spaces have gained enormous profile amongst the student body and have as much social media buzz as some of the larger capital projects on campus.   

2 Involve student designers wherever possible. Our landscape design thrives on the creative input of students from relevant courses, which should then be bolstered via design development with qualified landscape architects. This ensures that design relates directly to the student experience and helps them to feel more rooted in their campus.

3 On sites where space is a primary constraint, green space can help to make the most of it. Our roof gardens and pocket parks have created facilities in areas where it would not have been possible to build using traditional methods. Equipped with suitable furniture and wifi, this additional capacity can be valuable at the busiest (and coincidentally sunniest) times of the year for universities.