Bluespace refers to open bodies of water, including lakes, rivers and urban canals, and can usually be applied as part of major developments, such as large scale urban extensions. However, the use of ponds, roadside swales, flood balancing lakes and open air swimming pools also have significant value, particularly as part of smaller scale developments.
The use of open water and water features bring multiple benefits as an adaptation solution to climate change. They provide evaporative cooling (as the water evaporates the process uses heat in the atmosphere to change from liquid to gas, thus cooling the surrounding environment), can act as a sustainable drainage system to reduce localised flooding, can provide irrigation and may support biodiversity.
However, in order for bluespace to provide a sustainable solution, it is vital that it is not artificially fed, i.e. topped up with mains supplied water, and will continue to have a supply of naturally sourced water in the future.
Naturally fed water features help to cool the environment at Cheadle Royal in Cheshire