While others talk about it, Wolverhampton will excel with community and civic action to create green streets, public spaces and buildings.
Wolverhampton to become the first Green City in the UK. While others talk about it, Wolverhampton will excel with community and civic action to create green streets, public spaces and buildings. Urban farming will spring up on buildings and redundant car-parks, streets will have new trees and guerilla gardening projects and healthy environments will help to shape the future of the city. Green infrastructure does not receive anything like the investment or management that goes into other infrastructure. However much of it is simple to achieve and easy to implement. This project will show this is the smart choice, given the dangers of climate change and the opportunities to improve public health.
Parks and gardens, waterways, allotments, tree-lined streets and green roofs will provide a network of green resources. This green infrastructure will be a powerful tool to help the city to adapt to climate change and improve public health.
Decades of under-investment in green space services mean there is an urgent need for more people, with the right skills, to manage this living landscape, and turn green features and spaces into a functioning network. Training the local population in these skills will develop a sustainable local career path for young and old alike.
The urban landscape can be hard, dirty and congested, restricting the quality of life – even the life chances – of people who live and work there. These kinds of places are neither resilient nor prosperous. If we ignore human relationships with nature, more compact cities will do nothing to secure their long-term sustainability.
Imagine instead a green urban landscape: somewhere you can walk or cycle to school or work through car-free, linear greenways; where meadows run alongside offices and shops; where you can see food being grown in the park. A literally greener place improves well being and mental health. Getting the landscape right changes the very nature of urban life.
This will continue a tradition of urban parks that has long had its origins in Wolverhampton. While others waste their energy on bolting transient eco-bling to their roofs Wolverhampton will be known nationally as the first truly green urban city in the UK.