Why is Bristol Europe's Green Capital for 2015?

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

Bristol is Europe's Green Capital for 2015, but you have to wonder how this came about as its sustainability credentials seem pitifully few.  In the BBC's most recent Costing the Earth, Tom Heap explored these issues.  Clearly, the award was granted as much on future promise as past performance.  Perhaps that's as it should be.  It's a key reason why London got the Olympics, for example.

What those interviewed wanted from the 'green capital' experience, varied a lot, but legacy featured strongly.  There was a strong critique of too much emphasis on arty-fatty stuff (think blue plastic whales), and a persistent desire for an amelioration of some of Bristol's many problems.  Grid-locked traffic, and resultant poor air quality, were mentioned a lot, and the programme ended by wondering whether fewer children and old folk would die from the polluted air by the end of the Green Capital experience.

School education got a small mention.  One school was (inevitably, perhaps) measuring local air pollution, and there will be an 'education programme' that will feature Shaun the Sheep.  Umm.  This is being piloted in Bristol and then it's going nation-wide next autumn.  Details were sparse, but it did not sound encouraging.  Let's hope it's more than another dust-gathering teacher pack.  Oddly, there was no mention of the great contribution that the two universities are making which is something I have mentioned before.  That, too, promised to go national.

The programme confirmed that it would return in 2016 to see what had happened.  That might be way too soon.


Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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