Bristol the Green Capital

Bristol the Green CapitalAlong with many other people we are proud of the recent announcement that Bristol has won the title of European Green Capital. With all things green being increasingly important all over the world, people will be watching Bristol throughout the year to see what the city has in store, and as the first UK winner of the award there’s no pressure!

At the launch of Bristol as the Green Capital, Tony Juniper who is an ambassador of Bristol 2015 was quoted saying “In 2015, Bristol has the chance to play a leading role on the world stage by showing how it is not only possible but highly desirable to close the ‘green gap’. I am looking forward to Bristol providing the kind of inspiration needed to shape a different future than the one we are presently heading toward.” The concept of the ‘green gap’ is at the forefront of Bristol 2015 which focuses on the difference between our green intentions and our actions, Bristol has the opportunity to make the UK proud and really show what can and should be done to ‘Bridge the Gap’ to a more green and sustainable world.

With this being the case we wanted to look deeper into what green projects Bristol is currently doing or has planned; as well as how Smarts Quarter has added to Bristol’s green name.

Goals for 2015

Bristol 2015 Ltd, the new company which has been set up to help facilitate all the plans for 2015, has come up with three key goals for Bristol in 2015.

The first goal is all about local empowerment, and the point of this isn’t to just go ahead and make loads of changes with the aim to be more sustainable, the importance of getting citizens and communities in Bristol involved with projects, events and generation of ideas is crucial. The involvement of the people of Bristol will give them the power to change things as well as get a better understanding of the challenges that we all face to create a more sustainable lifestyle.

International reach has also been set as a key goal. With all the expected development and impact that Bristol will be having throughout the year it is crucial that this doesn’t all go unnoticed by the rest of the world as Bristol can be an important worldwide influencer. Therefore Bristol 2015 aims to make the city a global profile for the UK’s most pioneering and sustainable city. This will not only help achieve the aim of creating global awareness but also encourage exports, investment, tourism and economic growth, which will be another positive impact for Bristol and the rest of the UK.

The final goal is for Bristol to become the leading forum for UK, Europe and global exchange in sustainability expertise. Yes there are big plans set for Bristol this year, and all of this will be in the lead up to the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change.

What does this mean for you?

There are plenty of events and projects going on throughout 2015 from lectures delivered by experts to a variety of workshops everyone can take part in. There is so much going on and Bristol 2015 wants make sure that people get as involved as possible; so whether you already live in Bristol or are thinking about moving be sure to check out the list of events on the Bristol 2015 website. And not only are people going to be encouraged to attend events but also to create your own. The people of Bristol will be able to get their voice heard and create additional help for the overall 2015 plan.

Currently over 90% of the Bristol population live within 300m of parklands and waterways, so residents are certainly not short of places to be outside which can be rare in a bustling city centre. But to celebrate becoming the Green Capital, Bristol has even further plans for their open spaces by connecting as many of them as possible with popular routes. This will include the adoption of tree lined streets which will act as extensions of each space as well as creating attractive routes, cleaner air, cooler conditions, healthier lives and more property value along each corridor. It is definitely worthwhile checking out the plans for the Bristol Greenway Project to see what changes you can look forward to near you.

As well as that, Bristol already has the lowest CO2 emissions of any major city in the UK which is great news because we don’t know anyone who would want to live in a smoggy, exhaust fume filled city. This will only be improved with a new network of electrical vehicle charging points being set up throughout the city by the end of March. Not only does this create a healthier city environment but for those of you who own electric vehicles, you will have plenty more places to charge your car including 4 rapid charger units.

Or maybe to help with reduced carbon emissions you prefer to cycle rather than drive. All you cyclists can look forward to a brand new cycling infrastructure which will be completed by June in perfect timing for the Bristol Biggest Bike Ride, so make sure you get your bikes and cycle helmets at the ready!

We have only touched on a very few aspects of the Bristol 2015 that really will benefit Bristol citizens, but as you will see there is plenty to look forward to and be proud of in Bristol.

The Smarts Quarter Green Appeal

In reflection to all the effort and attention Bristol have given and will continue to give in their aim to increase the amount of action that is being made toward creating a greener world, we ensured that energy efficiency was a central aspect of the development of Smarts Quarter.

This can be evidenced in a number of ways, first of all in the use of building materials that will reduce emissions. Not only does this have a green benefit but also have a monetary one for owners as the materials will reduce the amount of wasted energy which will therefore reduce bills.

In addition all of our flats and maisonettes will be fitted with a number of energy efficient elements. This includes energy efficient appliances, under floor heating and a Valient ecoTEChigh boiler which could save 30% on your heating bills; we don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to save that much on heating bills!

As well as all of these energy efficient items which will automatically reduce bills, the flats also include Energy Monitors for both electricity and gas. So all your future residents of Smarts Quarter you will be able to monitor how much electricity and gas you consume and will help reduce your usage.

Smarts Quarter will also feature photovoltaic panels on the main roof which will generate a feed in tariff to the electricity grid. The use of these panels will not only mean that Smarts Quarter will be partly using a renewable energy source but all residents will be able to see the benefit in the form of reduced management charges to the up keep of the building

Now ready for you keen cyclists who are awaiting the arrival of the new cycle infrastructure and city wide bike ride, the addition of under cover, secure cycle storage which can fit 26 bicycles will be the perfect place to keep your bike. Not only is this space perfect for those of you who already love cycling but it may encourage those of you who may want to drive less and exercise more to get out there. If that all sounds great to you, Smarts Quarter is very well placed for the already existing cycle routes as you can see on the sustrans route maps, all you need to do is search with the postcode BS2 0JY.

Finally, the city doesn’t tend to be the place to be if you are interested in wildlife and like to see it around. Well here at Green Spinnaker we have found a solution to this. After a ecological report was conducted by Abricon, Green Spinnaker were given the choice of installing a bat box, bird box or insect box, we are pleased to announce that we have chosen to install a bat box, which will hopefully increase the possibility of bats being seen in the area. After all bats need a nice and cosy new home every once in a while as well.

Well if you already appreciate being green and sustainable it definitely looks like Bristol and Smarts Quarter are places to be, and even if you still don’t think about sustainability much or are not sure what you can do to help, then don’t just stand by make sure you get involved with the rest of Bristol this year in their aim to ‘Bridge the gap’. This is our year to show what we can really do and really have an impact on the rest of the world.

If you are also more interested to find out more about Smarts Quarters green features then contact our partners Goodman & Lilley today on 0117 213 0151.