The Strand: Connecting Liverpool with Multi-Purpose Green Infrastructure

Nearly 2,000 Silva Cells are supporting more than 100 trees while simultaneously serving as a SuDS stormwater system in this award-winning initiative


The revamp of The Strand is both a human-centric and environmentally conscious streetscape project in Liverpool — a public realm enhancement (and award-winning) initiative that adheres to European Commission guidelines on water and air quality. As part of the EU-funded URBANGreenUP project, the green transformation of The Strand is connecting Liverpool efficiently, sustainably, and safely. The trees installed in DeepRoot Silva Cells play a vital role in reduced carbon emissions, serving as a sustainable drainage system (SuDS) for stormwater, and supporting a healthy tree canopy for generations.

Installation Summary

Number of Silva Cells: 1,950 (2x)

Number of Trees: 128

Type of Project: Streetscape, Stormwater, Municipal

Project Designer: BCA Landscape, Amey, and Liverpool City Council

Project Contractor: John Graham Construction Limited

Installation Date of Silva Cells: 2020-2021

The New Green Strand

The Strand project began in the autumn of 2019 and is a critical part of the £47m Liverpool City Centre Connectivity (LCCC) scheme. Designers BCA Landscape, Amey, and Liverpool City Council, were challenged to re-envision The Strand design to reduce congestion during peak travel times, enable and promote pedestrian and cyclist safety, and to improve air quality by reducing traffic while increasing tree canopy to reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants.

The trees planted in Silva Cells serve as a SuDS tool, making use of the surface water from the carriageway, which is diverted to the tree planting areas and irrigation system. Silva Cells reduce the flow of excess water into the current drainage system and will help to reduce the flooding pressure on the system during periods of heavy rainfall.

In order to achieve this, 426 (2X) Silva Cells were installed along the median to ensure adequate tree root space for SuDS and to provide the ability to filter out pollutants and create a thriving urban forest full of healthy Dawn Redwoods (metasequoia) among the built environment. The Strand’s footpaths, plazas, bike paths, and car lanes feature over 100 trees planted in an additional 1,524 (2X) Silva Cells with 200 m3 of soil volume lining the pavements between Brook Street and James Street.

In November 2020, Regenerating Liverpool reported on the project’s key transformations.

“The significant redesigning of how key junctions are used, including the banning of turns cutting across The Strand, will also ensure traffic flow is more fluid, meaning less air pollution as cars are not stopping and starting so frequently. The newly planted trees take the form of a tree Sustainable Urban Drainage System and will make use of any excess surface water on the carriageway, which will be diverted into the tree pit and tree watering system. This will both reduce the need for excess water to go into the drainage system and help reduce the flooding pressure on the grids and gullies during periods of heavy rainfall.”

The Strand project under the LCCC scheme is one of three projects taking place in major cities around the world, including Valladolid in Spain and Izmir in Turkey, and is managed by URBANGreenUP, a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe 2020 programme. URBANGreenUP strives to mitigate climate change and improve air and water quality with nature-based solutions. There are four categories that the organization uses to achieve its goals: re-naturizing urbanization; singular green infrastructure; water interventions; and non-technical interventions.

The 128 trees installed in DeepRoot Silva Cells satisfied URBANGreenUP’s goals and provide stormwater management, creating a lush urban forest canopy. The regeneration of The Strand exemplifies the very best of green infrastructure projects, providing data and analysis for stormwater and air quality, keeping the community connected via safer walkways, cycle lanes, and improved traffic flows, and introducing large canopies of trees while preserving the city’s heritage. The project is also being closely monitored, particularly as regards its stormwater activity, creating a useful data source for both the success of The Strand and as research to draw upon for future initiatives.

“Liverpool City Centre is changing for the better. The improvements to The Strand, reducing traffic, more space for pedestrians, and especially the new top-quality cycle lanes, are immense. It will do so much to reconnect our world-famous Waterfront with the rest of town.”
– Liverpool Cycling Commissioner, Simon O’Brien

Project Awards

2022 Loop Design Award

2022 Creating Better Places Award

Additional Resources

For other projects in the UK, check out our case studies here:

Lillie Square (London)

Hull Capital of Culture

Wembley Way (London)

Local Manufacturing

DeepRoot is committed to reducing our carbon footprint and supporting manufacturing in our communities – this is why our Silva Cells are built locally in the United Kingdom. Utilising this domestic manufacturing and shipping strategy, we are able to provide our customers with quality products and shorter fulfillment times.


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