Sustainability is a local concern, as much as it is…
By Jake Barnes
The second in our series of three workshops exploring Sustainability through collaboration to be held on Thursday 14th April, at the Friends Meeting House in Brighton. At the workshop we will look more closely at the two focal areas introduced in workshop 1: Green spaces and new infrastructure projects. Through breakout groups we seek to develop shared lists of key sustainability issues and an action plan for each area.
To kick-start this process a preliminary list of key sustainability issues has been drafted for each area. We invite you to review these lists and come to the workshop armed with additions, amendments or clarifications!
Key sustainability issues for green spaces
(in no particular order)
- Conserving and enhancing biodiversity (plants and wildlife) (contributing to the Local Biodiversity Action Plan), including sustaining pollinating insects and other wildlife
- Reducing flood risk in vulnerable areas through sustainable drainage schemes
- Increasing tree cover?
- Encouraging and enhancing the health and recreation benefits of existing green spaces,
- Access to food growing and food waste composting
- Increasing opportunities for informal and formal education
- Viewing and managing green spaces as a spatial network of ‘green infrastructure’ (e.g. green corridors linking green spaces and enhancing biodiversity)
- Using existing parks and green spaces as demonstration areas to encourage more ‘eco-friendly’ urban elements and public behaviour e.g. gardens and buildings?
- Encouraging multi-functional approaches to design, management and use to deliver multiple benefits (‘ecosystem services’)
- Developing capacity and resources to manage and improve green spaces
- Making management regimes more (environmentally) sustainable and natural, in terms of the resources used, activities carried out and future resilience (including climate change)
- Encouraging greater community involvement in green spaces, including scope for increased engagement in sites, planning and management
Key sustainability issues in the development of new infrastructure projects
(in no particular order)
- Maximising use of land (usually for new homes) while respecting surrounding areas – makes best use of land plus maximises support for public transport services*
- Creating quality homes – minimum space standards
- Creating sustainable neighbourhoods:
- mix of tenure and size
- car-free streets*
- local and native planting encouraging biodiversity
- Providing local services nearby wherever possible (to reduce the need to travel)*
- Adaptable community buildings which can still serve a useful function as demographic changes
- Access to (and for large developments inclusion of) local green space and good pedestrian and cycle links to larger green spaces and the National Park*
- Access to food growing space
- Facilities for composting and recycling
- Zero carbon homes (homes that generate more electricity than they use) and offices (requirement for highest BREEAM rating)
- Minimise water use and impact on aquifer, re-using water wherever possible and capturing rainfall for local use to minimise amount of treated water used
- Minimising car parking and where it is provided make this off / edge of site where possible to keep streets generally car-free. If possible share parking with offices / work spaces to reduce overall amount provided*
- Ensure good pedestrian and cycle links into neighbouring areas and provide good quality public transport infrastructure*
- Ensure any new drive ways or outside surfaces are permeable
* Essential to minimise off-site impacts, to minimise air pollution and to encourage active living. Without these elements new development risks creating an environment with high social, health and economic costs.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts.
This workshop is the second in a series of three workshops exploring how to accelerate progress to a more sustainable future within Brighton and Hove. The series is being led by researchers at the University of Sussex, working on the ARTS project (accelerating and rescaling transitions to sustainability). The series is also being supported by a core group of local stakeholders, including Vic Borrel (Brighton and Hove Food Partnership), Chris Todd (FOE, Brighton), Mita Patel (BHCC), Duncan Blinkhorn (Community Works) and Rich Howorth (Biosphere Partnership).
To sign up to the workshops please visit our eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sustainability-through-collaboration-tickets-22217115992