Energy Efficiency

Innovations in planning for urban resilience and sustainability: Blue Green Dream


January 28, 2016






January 28, 2016






Prof. Čedo Maksimović PhD: Imperial College, London, UK, and Director of the Blue Green Global (BGG-Ltd) company and Blue Green Global Group, E-mail:


This presentation introduces the innovative urban planning method developed by the Blue Green Dream (BGD) project, funded by the EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology) through its Climate_KiC program in the period 2012–2015. The project is aimed at achieving high levels of sustainability and resilience to the negative impacts of climate change and extreme weather events, equally applicable to new build and retrofitting areas. The Blue Green Dream approach entails harnessing the interactions between urban water infrastructure, urban green spaces and other urban ecosystems and functions to yield sustainable, resilient city systems that move from centralised water, energy and waste utilities to decentralised but integrated systems.


The project is conceptualised – conceived, fundraised and brought to successful conclusion of the development phase by professor Čedo Maksimović, PhD Dipl. Civ.Eng. After having worked at the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Belgrade for more than 20 years, from 1996 he works at the Imperial College London where he heads the UWRG – Urban Water Research Group. During the past four years he initiated two major projects: RainGain and Blue Green Dream, dealing with interactions of urban water systems and urban vegetated areas which develops new paradigm for planning and redevelopment of smart, sustainable, natural hazard resilient cities with enhanced urban ecosystem services.

He is the editor-in-chief of the international Urban Water journal and of the Urban Water Book series. He also served as a chief advisor to Unesco International Hydrological Programme (IHPVI) on Integrated Urban Water Management. He published over 420 papers in journals and events and authored and edited 42 books. At the Imperial College London he supervised 16 PhD and 108 MSc theses.


By interlinking urban water infrastructure (blue) and urban vegetated areas (green infrastructure) systems, resource efficient, multifunctional Blue Green Solutions for supporting urban adaptation to climate change are produced. The benefits of Blue Green Solutions include resilience to droughts and floods; reduction of water, air and noise pollution; mitigation of the urban heat island effect; increase of liveability, amenity, human health and wellbeing; reduction of operational costs (lower energy and water bills); enhancement of biodiversity and urban agriculture; improvement of governance and reduction of socio-economic problems. Key to BGD concept is the replacement of conventional, linear urban resource flows (figure 1a) with the BGD-based, circular resource flow model, with localised recycling and generation of “new resources” (figure 1b). The EUR 3.1 million BGD project features a range of academic and industry and commercial partners, who are developing the science and tools for realising and maximising the full range of benefits provided by BG Solutions, whether integrated into new developments or retrofitted to existing cities. The crucial innovations of the BGD are the modelling of interactions, quantification and optimisation of urban ecosystem ecosystem interactions and their application in innovative urban planning of new development and retrofitting of the existing ones.


Figure 1a: Conventional Horizontal flow of resources 


Figure 1b: BGD approach – for reduced impact of climate change


Current “wisdom” of planning new developments and retrofitting existing ones is usually piecemeal (more often than not, solving one problem and creating several others), does not address a variety of interactions (technical, natural, socio-economical) and thus fails to address key challenges of future cities. Furthermore, the traditional perception of nature and environmental protection (specifically within the urban fabric) which often comprises of costly projects of unquantifiable and uncertain outcome is challenged by BGD project. Instead of protecting nature, in our innovative paradigm nature is “engaged” to protect and create more livable conditions for the urban population, enhancing its metabolism, and creating a win-win scenario for both the city and nature.


Sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions based on BGD paradigm do not add significant additional costs on top of the conventional design. Blue Green Solutions are innovative proven strategies that significantly lower whole-life costs. Corporations which adopt Blue Green’s sustainability corporate strategy can benefit from significant cost savings at retrofitting and in running, hence with new revenue generation.


  1. Existing situation at the development location – systematic assessment of criteria and parameters relevant to BG Solutions;
  2. Definition of strategy goals, development of goal-driven implementation matrix to define targets, indicators and required analysis;
  3. Potential capital and running costs derived from urban components interactions;
  4. Assessment of  possible interactions between urban components and ecosystem services;
  5. Blue green optimization analysis;
  6. Project resilience to weather extremes;
  7. Implementation of innovative BG Solutions at master planning, conceptual and final design in collaboration with the local consultancy companies;


Development strategy (for central and local governments, cities, development and corporations) based on innovative Blue Green Solutions for sustainability and climate change resilience.

  1. Optimized master plan conceptual solutions based on integrated life cycle analysis
  2. Detailed master plan and BGD-based design guidelines
  3. Capacity building
  4. Innovative certifications


Blue Green Global Ltd in partnership with EnPlus company is proud to continue working in the areas in which Blue Green Dram Team and collaborating local project partners have demonstrated advantages and benefits from implanting BG Solutions: 

  • Enabling – environmental impact and sustainability studies for the Porto Montenegro project
  • Retrofitting of the World Bank Building, Paris, France
  • Innovative – BG Solutions based Planning Methodology and Tools for Multifunctional Flood Risk Reduction and Management (United Nations Development Programme’s project)
  • Marlow Road, Residential Area, London Project Upgrade by BGD paradigm
  • Innovative Master Plan for the Borongaj University Campus in Zagreb, Croatia
  • Residential area Holland Plain, Singapore
  • Energy Audit and Upgrade Strategy, Siemens Industrial Plant, Germany
  • Energy Efficient and Sustainable Solutions for Winter Sport Centre (the Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina


award logoOn November 2 in London, Blue Green Dream Team lead by prof. Čedo Maksimović won the Business Green Technology Award in the category Research and Development Programme of the Year 2015. The award is a recognition of the achievements in development of the innovations in planning of the future cities for resilience to climate changes and extreme weather.


International network of regional and national collaborating partners and organisations is under creation is expanding. The Regional network of BG national focal points and collaborating entities for Central and South East Europe (CSEE) is coordinated by Mikser and EnPlus.


Regardless whether you are working for governmental organisation (strategic planning for example), local government (city) planning, utility consulting company (big one or one man band), if you are big corporation or group or a small or medium-sized enterprise, philanthropic organisation or non-governmental organisation, there are numerous ways to collaborate (work together), contribute (in knowledge, in kind or otherwise) and make significant benefit by associating yourself with BG paradigm and international community. Visit BGD’s site or contact prof. Čedo Maksimović.

 Cedo MaksimovicProfessor Čedo Maksimović, PhD heads the UWRG – Urban Water Research Group at the Imperial College London. His major project is  Blue Green Dream ( dealing with interactions of urban water systems and urban vegetated areas which develops new paradigm for planning and re-development of smart, sustainable, natural hazard resilient cities with enhanced urban ecosystem services.

He is the Editor-in-Chief (  of the international URBAN WATER journal  and of the ( Urban Water Book series. He also served as a chief advisor to UNESCO International Hydrological ProgrammeVI on Integrated Urban Water Management. He published over 390 papers in journals and events and authored and edited 42 books.



Related Articles


Serbia’s energy-intensive industries brace for CBAM, seek state support to apply decarbonization solutions

22 May 2024 - Companies in Serbia are not afraid of decarbonization and CBAM, but are worried the state does not recognize what needs to be done to help the affected industries

serbia heating plants biomass eu kfw djedovic miscevic vucevic konrad

Five Serbian heating plants to be converted from coal, oil to biomass

17 May 2024 - Serbia will build heating plants in Niš, Bajina Bašta, Prijepolje, Rača and Novi Pazar to replace fuel oil and coal in district heating systems


Successful first phase of energy transition in Balkans, especially Serbia

13 May 2024 - The first phase of the transition to renewable energy sources in the Western Balkans has been successful, particularly in Serbia, according to Belgrade Energy Forum 2024, organized by Balkan Green Energy News

Communities leading the Western Balkans' clean heating transition Nataša Kovačević

Communities leading the Western Balkans’ clean heating transition

08 May 2024 - Powering district heating networks with geothermal energy, solar thermal, or other renewable energy sources can help make large-scale heating systems efficient, cost-effective, and flexible, especially when rolled out in tandem with small-scale systems