Measuring the value of blue-green infrastructure with B£ST
Stantec developed CIRIA’s Benefits Estimation Tool (B£ST) to provide a simple way for practitioners to estimate the monetary value of blue-green infrastructure (BGI). It enables the wide range of benefits of BGI interventions to be valued and is compatible with numerous drainage interventions including sustainable drainage and natural flood management.
B£ST enables practitioners to value benefits across 19 categories that affect people, the environment and the economy. It presents the results in two frameworks: ecosystem services and capitals accounting.
Water companies and local authorities wish to utilise BGI to reduce flooding by controlling how much surface water enters drainage systems and when. These approaches create many more benefits than conventional solutions, typically pipes and big storage tanks, but can be more difficult to implement.
Valuing the benefits makes it easier to draw other stakeholders into conversations to facilitate partnership working and deliver great places and spaces, providing multiple benefits and enhancing natural capital.
B£ST has not only been adopted in the UK, it is also used globally, including on significant European and Australian research projects. The tool and supporting detailed guidance is free to download (www.susdrain.org/resources/best.html).
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