A sustainable city – Winchester

Our ecological footprint is too big

 

Snug Projects were asked to present a vision for a more sustainable city to Winchester Town Forum as part of their ongoing public consultation on a new Vision for Winchester. Winchester gained national notoriety when its Ecological Footprint came out as the highest in the UK at 3.6 planets required to sustain its lifestyle…. Ouch. The Town Forum’s current vision from 2001 focuses on what we would call a visually friendly city and seems to largely misunderstand what makes an environmentally friendly city. Our vision focused on Cradle to Cradle closed loops that map the city’s existing patterns of consumption. We called for a focus on changing culture as a basis for changed behaviour and promoted the power of people that feel part of something bigger than themselves. New culture, new economics, new buildings and places, new infrastructure and most importantly new values leads to new behaviour. Cities that have the humility to be faithful in the small things will soon enough make big changes. As Ghandi said – ‘You must be the change you want to see in the world.’ We left the cities political leaders to consider the success of Curitaba, a city in Brazil were public support for their mayors environmental ambitions has resulted in a city transformed and 12 years in power with a 92% approval rating. Who says hard decisions aren’t popular! Curitaba’s mayor says it best – There is no endeavour more noble than the attempt to achieve a collective dream. When a city accepts as a mandate its quality of life; when it respects the people who live in it; when it respects the environment; when it prepares for future generations, the people share the responsibility for that mandate, and this shared cause is the only way to achieve that collective dream.’