Sustainability (1): Beeston as an exemplar community
No matter what the vision is for the Beeston beyond 2020, it is crucial that future town development, design and construction is of high quality and consistently embeds sustainability into all activities, developments and programmes. This way we can help beat climate change, enhance air quality and improve our health and well-being.
We must create an environment which develops, protects and enhances the local community by ensuring all decisions within the town consider the environment and its sustainability.
Beeston itself cannot deliver a sustainable community without the committed support of local businesses and residents. Beeston, with limited resources and powers, will also need the support and partnership of D2N2, the Borough, City and County to deliver an inspiring vision.
Nottingham City Council has a good reputation in delivering successful and environmentally sound transport and housing developments using central and regional public funding. They have an ambitious zero carbon plan. Our two main universities also have excellent environmental sustainability credentials, winning awards year after year.
Nottingham City Council has committed to become the first carbon neutral city in the country by 2028. Their2028 Carbon NeutralCharter is supported by the Carbon Neutral Action Plan setting out high-level objectives to achieve a resilient and sustainable carbon-neutral city.
The model used in the City Charter to guide their programmes is seen by Amsterdam and other cities as a way to redirect programmes post COVID-19. How though is Nottingham going to meet targets without the support of the residents of the surrounding communities, including Beeston which impact the city’s environment each day?
I would like to see Beeston (and Broxtowe) working with the City to become a medium sized town exemplar in sustainability. A Beeston sub-action plan based on the City’s Charter and Action Plan has benefits for the City and County, Beeston and Broxtowe in terms of shared resource and shared benefit. This is the context for the following four papers describing how Beeston could become a suburban exemplar community in:
• The built environment, based on enhanced conditions and standards;
• In transport and travel;
• as a working hub for green technology and innovation; and
• by the way we might live in a a green community.
The extent of adjustment cannot be under-estimated. It implies major changes in the way we build, travel, eat, recycle and generally behave. Success depends on a focussed commitment to a carbon neutral future through accelerating modal shift to public transport and active travel (cycling and walking), delivering energy, waste and water efficiency, managing food sourcing and recycling schemes. This means an effective and far reaching programme of projects to change our behaviour, habits and preconceptions. Are we ready for this?
28 July 2020
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