What is sustainability? Without using Google, that may be hard to answer, even for experts. Surely achieving something that one barely understands could prove to be evasive in success. Regardless of this, a multitude of world class cities set out to achieve the unknown. Nottingham, like many British towns, finds itself locked in the pursuit of this unrooted concept.
- Air Quality: To reduce CO² emissions, Nottingham can become a bike-friendly city, while offering transportation alternatives such as car sharing and extending the tram line;
- Ecological Footprint: Nottingham’s fast fashion district hinders its goals of achieving sustainability. Recycled clothing is the best alternative until the fashion industry fosters a more sustainable model;
- Energy Efficiency: Deployment of smart metering via government regulation coupled with workshops to foster growth and support development.
- Local Food/Allotments: The originator of the ecological footprint analysis and professor of community and regional planning at the University of British Columbia, William E. Rees injects the idea of self-reliance being key to sustainability. The key to Nottingham’s sustainability efforts will be through creating more independence with food markets.
Quality of Life
- Education: Successful cities need a well-skilled population to support their economy. Nottingham’s struggles with economy and employment is imputed to their stark inability to employ graduates from the city’s two leading universities. Competing with larger cities, like London, is no easy task. Nottingham must commit to retaining its skilled graduates, which can breathe new life into the economy with innovation and startups while creating industry distinction.
The very essence of sustainability must be stitched into the very fabric of a city’s cultural values. It must be at solidified with commitment and backed by skilled human capital and environmentally conscious citizens.
Given the chance, what areas would you like to tackle for Nottingham's future?
Credits: Photographs by Michael Jenkins. Image and data linked to sources.