Manchester Lit & Phil – How can we make our cities greener?
Royal Northern College of Music
18th January 2024
Get here sustainably
In an era marked by unprecedented urbanisation and environmental challenges, the importance of creating a sustainable future for our cities has never been more pressing. City leaders and citizens are playing pivotal roles in steering the course towards a greener and more sustainable urban landscape.
As cities continue to expand and evolve, their sustainability becomes a critical factor in ensuring the well-being of both current and future generations. The interplay between city leaders, who set policies and make strategic decisions, and citizens, who drive demand and catalyse change, is at the heart of this transformation.
Manchester is no stranger to this challenge. City officials have long recognised the need to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions, with a first Zero Emission plan launched in 2009.
Since then, Mayor Andy Burnham has pledged to make the Greater Manchester region carbon-neutral by 2038. However the process of implementing some of the changes to realise the pledge has been far from straightforward.
The implementation of the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) has sparked a heated debate, pitting environmental concerns against economic considerations. Advocates stress the urgency of cleaner air for future generations, while critics emphasize the need for a balanced approach that doesn’t undermine economic recovery. It’s undoubtedly a complex issue, and Andy decided to press pause on rolling out CAZ in February 2022. Manchester continues to grapple to find a consensus that effectively addresses both environmental and economic imperatives remains a formidable challenge.
What other plans do Greater Manchester leaders have to transform our city into one of the greenest regions in Europe? And can citizens and leaders work together to make this happen? Join us to explore this complex issue with our special guest Andy Burnham.