Saturday, 8 November 2008

Bristol Green

Bristol has been shortlisted in the competition to become Europe's first Green Capital in 2010. There were 35 applications and we are one of eight on the shortlist, the others being Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Freiburg, Hamburg, Munster, Oslo and Stockholm. 4 out of 5 Europeans live in cities and towns, which not only pose challenges to our environment but can also be the means of their resolution. This award is in recognition of the contribution that local government makes to achieving a sustainable balance and will be given to the city that:
  • Has a consistent record of achieving high environmental standards
  • Is committed to ongoing and ambitious goals for further environmental improvement and sustainable development
  • Can act as a role model to inspire other cities and promote best practices to all other European cities
I'm really chuffed that Bristol is the only British city to make the shortlist and I wish the Helen Holland and the council well in their efforts to go on and win the award.
According to the council website they have already made progress in the Green Capital Action Plan they launched in 2007 including:
  • the expansion of the cycling network, resulting in Bristol being chosen as the UK’s first Cycling City earlier this year, winning £11.4m of government funding with South Gloucestershire Council
  • the implementation of two ‘showcase’ bus routes and the expansion of the Park and Ride schemes
  • the introduction of a Parks and Green Spaces Strategy, which aims to improve accessibility for all as well as improving the quality of the green space. In recognition of the quality of their work, Bristol Parks this year won the Civic Trust National Green Flag Award for Blaise Castle Estate, the Downs, Queen Square and Trooper’s Hill Nature Reserve
  • the formation of the Biodiversity Action Partnership (due to be launched next week), which sets out an ambitious blueprint for the future of Bristol’s wildlife and identifies practical ways to protect and promote local flora and fauna
  • the adoption of the West of England Joint Waste Management Strategy, which will deliver significant reductions in the amount of waste being sent to landfill sites, maximise the efficient recovery of resources, and maintain a long-term commitment to increase waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting
  • a planning application submitted for two wind turbines at Avonmouth to supply up to 20% of the council’s energy needs
And I know that there's a lot of hype and that there's much more to be done besides, but Rome wasn't built in a day.
So well done Bristol!

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