That’s the question we are asking citizens across the city. Uniquely, the project puts the power in the hands of residents to determine the best local solutions.
Each city and region is shaped by its unique social, ecological and political context and the collective decisions of its people – no two develop the same way. Bristol is no exception.
The ClairCity project is a four-year project funded under EU Horizon 2020 and works directly with citizens and local authorities in six European countries. The project uses a game, a smartphone app, schools competitions, workshops and events to uncover residents’ expectations and dreams for the future of their own cities. Our work will help local authorities to devise plans to meet the needs of their inhabitants, and to do so in order to keep our air clean and to reduce each city’s contribution to global climate change.
Located in the Southwest of England, Bristol has a maritime climate and predominantly south-western winds, influencing background air pollutant concentrations and heating practices respectively. It has a diverse population, with around 20% black or minority ethnic (BAME) and varying income levels and cultural backgrounds between neighbourhoods and households. Due to current governance structures, local government has limited powers to implement energy or spatial planning policy. You can read more about Bristol’s context here.
In 2018 Bristol declared a Climate Emergency and established Bristol’s Leap Energy Partnership (the biggest ever council-led energy investment programme in the UK). It is also in the process of developing a Clean Air Action plan.
Bristol joined ClairCity in 2016 along with five other European cities to collectively work towards air pollution and climate change solutions. Since, Bristol has been working alongside local community groups, schools and scout groups (yellow pins) and at attending public events and festivals (blue pins) to raise awareness of air pollution and listen to what citizens want to be done about it. To date we’ve worked with 600 school children and contributed to National Clean Air Day.
Bristol has run two surveys to gather public opinion on priorities and future solutions, generating 700 responses. Additional, distributed events were held in more marginalised communities – Knowle, Barton Hill and Bradley Stoke, as well as Bishopston. Stakeholder workshops, targeted at local interest groups, completed our public-facing data collection.
Through this project, we are developing toolkits for each city to support cities with their ongoing clean air and climate change ambitions, tailoring these resources to individual contexts. We have gathered input from citizens and will soon be ready to share our advocacy and policy packs in full.