Tackling the twin climate and nature crises will require transforming every aspect of our society and economy. As well as decarbonising industries and transitioning to clean, green energies, to create a zero carbon society will also need to transform our everyday surroundings: where we shop, how we travel to work, where we live.
The covid-19 pandemic has opened up an opportunity to raise important questions about city planning. How our neighbourhoods have formed, and why did they develop as they have done? What is our vision for a zero carbon Sheffield? How could we restructure our surroundings to better facilitate active travel, or ensure equitable access to green spaces across the city?
The urban critic Michael Sorkin wrote that ‘if one were to stipulate, for example, that a harmonious neighbourhood should provide everyone with the critical elements of daily life—work, commerce, recreation, education, environmental management—within walking distance of home, the implications would be both immediate and deep.’ Which of Sheffield’s neighbourhoods might satisfy these criteria at present? What would be the benefits of such a transformation? And what kinds of community associations do we need to create such changes?
In Sheffield we are lucky to be the Outdoor City, and a stone’s throw away from the Peak District, but the lockdown has shown that even a “ten minute drive away” can become unreachable overnight.
At our next Hallam Citizens’ Climate Manifesto event we are going to discuss how we can transform our neighbourhoods and build stronger communities, which have social, economic and climate justice at their heart.
- ACORN, a community union which builds working class power to deliver economic and social justice, and are currently leading campaigns to tackle slum housing and bring buses under public control
- Dr. Lee Crookes, a critical geographer/planner from the Urban Studies and Planning Department at the University of Sheffield whose research develops an understanding of the importance of planning ‘from below’
- Friends of the Loxley Valley, who work to care for the Loxley Valley, showcase its wonderful qualities, and help protect and defend it (invited)
So please join us on Tuesday 11th May, from 5:30 – 7pm on Zoom for our next Assembly, to hear from these groups, and continue to build our Hallam Citizens’ Climate Manifesto.