ClairCity Webinar Series

We’ve produced a series of webinars to share our findings from the ClairCity project. We’ve got something to suit everyone, so take your pick from the programme and register through our Eventbrite pages linked below. The speakers come from across Europe, and range from scientists to members of local government. They’ll be sharing tips and resources during the webinars, helping you to learn from their experiences and to make your work more effective. We look forward to seeing you!

FOR ALL ATTENDEES: please read the following document on how to use our webinar platform Blackboard Collaborate before signing in to the webinar: Blackboard Collaborate instructions

The webinars will be turned into learning materials in July, so stay tuned on social media for when they are ready.

Engaging citizens on air quality and climate change

Webinar 1: Thursday 11th June, 11:00-12:20 CET

Do you work in the environment sector, sustainability or are a policy advisor? Do you engage members of the public on air quality or climate change? Then this webinar is for you.

Learn from the experiences of a four-year Horizon 2020 research project that sought to engage citizens from 6 cities and regions across Europe. In total, 8302 citizens from all walks of life took part in varied engagement activities. The aim was to make our cities healthier places to live by influencing decision making processes on reducing air pollution and carbon emissions.

Hear from science communicators, game developers and engagement practitioners, and engage in discussion about the types of tools that work for different audiences, from mobile games to schools activities, the challenges and rewards of working with different cultures, and the steps that can be taken to keep the momentum going during times of disruption.

Dr Margarida Sardo and Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers (UWE Bristol, UK)

Andy King (PlayWest, UK)

Eva Csobod and Péter Szuppinger (The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe – REC, Hungary)

This event has ended. You can watch the recording here and read the FAQ of all unanswered questions here.

Citizens at the centre: adding people’s behaviour in the emissions, air quality, health modelling chain

Webinar 2: Thursday 18th June, 14:00-15:10 CET

Are you a modeller, mathematician or data scientist? Do you work in the fields of air quality, health or climate change? Then this webinar is for you.

The webinar will dive into the methodological approach for the innovative modelling in ClairCity, which aimed to include citizens behaviour in the classical modelling approach.

We didn’t just want to know the share of car emission contributing to local air quality problems – we wanted to add knowledge on who’s driving the cars and why. Understanding underlying practices allows for designing effective policy strategies and behaviour changes to improve air quality. – Kris Vanherle, TMLeuven

In this 70 minute interactive session, hear the international team of modellers highlight examples of how they dealt with this, and listen to them present key elements of the modelling on transport and residential energy use. Then gain case specific insights as they elaborate on a few key findings from the city’s that were part of the ClairCity project.

There will be several opportunities to ask questions, and you will come away with new insights and some useful resources to help support your work.

Speakers:

Kris Vanherle (TMLeuven, Belgium)

Vera Rodrigues (University of Aveiro, Portugal)

Angreine Kewo (Technical University of Denmark, DTU)

Enda Hayes (UWE Bristol, UK)

This event has ended. You can watch the recording here and read the FAQ of all unanswered questions here.

Lessons from putting citizens at the centre for air pollution and carbon reductions in cities

Webinar 3: Thursday 25th June, 15:00-16:30 CET

Are you a politician, mayor or regional representative? Do you wonder how to give a greater voice to the citizens of your city or region? Then this webinar is for you.

This session will focus on the ClairCity results of making policies together with citizens. The main policy lessons achieved across our six cities will be discussed in the context of citizen involvement. The speakers will reflect with attendees about the opportunities and costs for policymaking and policy implementation following greater citizen participation. Finally, the session will discuss what policy lessons the ClairCity method can offer to other middle-sized cities aiming at ambitious and citizen-inclusive air quality and carbon policies.

You will be joined by representatives from science, policy and local government, and we may have some special speakers to announce nearer the time.

Lucia Bernal-Saukkonen (DG Environment, European Commission)

Stephan Slingergard, Hans Bolscher and Irati Artola (Trinomics, The Netherlands)

Enda Hayes (UWE Bristol, UK)

Andrew Edwards (Bristol City Council, UK)

Svein Knudsen (NILU, Norway)

This event has ended. You can watch the recording here and read the FAQ of all unanswered questions here.

Citizens engaging policymakers on air quality and climate change

Webinar 4: Thursday 16th July, 12:00-13:00 CET

Are you a campaigner working for social & ecological justice? Do you care about your community and want to take action? Then this is for you

Climate change and air quality are social justice issues. Poor and BAME communities are disproportionately affected, with certain age groups (young and old), and those with existing health conditions (e.g. asthma) particularly vulnerable to air pollution.

Given the urgency needed to address these issues, how can we find the time to slow down and ensure our processes are inclusive? What works at engaging different communities and what lessons can we draw from campaign groups from different organisations working towards the same goals?

This webinar is a chance for you to hear from some of the most influential clean air and climate change campaigners from across Bristol, as they share their experiences from working with marginalised and at-risk communities. They will talk openly about what works and what doesn’t and you will have the chance to reflect, ask questions and forge connections. All participants will leave with a suite of tools and resources to improve their practice and ultimately the effectiveness of our collective mission to include citizens – and the natural resource base upon which we depend – in decision making.

Speakers

Sophie Laggan and Dr Laura Fogg Rogers, UWE Bristol

Zoe Banks-Gross, Playing Out

Our City Our Health, XR Bristol

This event has ended. You can watch the recording here and read the FAQ of all unanswered questions here.

The politics of air quality management

In order to bring air pollution emissions back in line with EU law, tough decisions have to be made by business, governments and citizens across Europe. Such decisions generate resistance as it means a change to the status quo and the redistribution of power. But change is essential to improve our health and create a future with clean air.

A farming crisis

In October Dutch farmers took to the roads, driving their tractors to the Hague to fight back against new rules on nitrogen emissions. They felt they were unfairly treated and as a result several councils decided to scrap tighter rules.

Image result for dutch farmers protest

The Netherlands is currently experiencing a ‘nitrogen oxides pollution crisis’ largely attributed to industrial farming and vehicle emissions. Drastic changes are needed to fall within EU law to protect nature from these emissions, including several that will impact on the farming industry.

Farming is a leading cause of air pollution and climate change and many scientists believe we cannot protect our planetary life support system within the industrial model. Among the Dutch law changes are tougher emissions inventories for farmers and plans to change livestock feed to include an enzyme that reduces nitrogen emissions from cows. However, they will only be implemented if councils can remain united on these national regulatory measures.

Leaving no one behind

As the Dutch farmer case shows, those with the loudest voice (or rather biggest economic stake) have the biggest influence in decision making. What results is watered down measures to continue business as usual (link to our other blog), rather than the radical shifts needed to mitigate our current Climate and Ecological Emergencies. Indeed, over 11,000 international scientists have recently called for urgent action from politicians to stop ‘untold consequences’ of growing carbon and other emissions.  

In the UK a similar pattern is emerging. As a result of failing to tackle one of the root causes of pollution – the private car – transport is now the largest sectoral source of carbon emissions in the UK. Private cars take the lion’s share of these emissions and they are still rising.

Local councils have been left with the unsavoury job of trying to tackle the problem locally, in a political climate that invests in mass road building.

In Bristol, the City Council have spent the last several years preparing its Clean Air Plan. They have consulted communities across the city, including economically deprived areas, and spoken with businesses and various organisations.

If approved by Central Government, the city intends to ban all privately-owned diesel vehicles from entering the city centre from 7am to 3pm, daily, from 2021. “There would also be a wider Clean Air Zone (CAZ) where non-compliant commercial vehicles such as buses, taxis, HGVs and LGVs would be charged. A car scrappage scheme would also be launched” says the Council. “Modelling that informed this ‘hybrid’ approach shows the council can meet the government test for improved air quality in the shortest time possible (by 2025). The hybrid approach also reduces the number of lower income households directly affected by the measures.”

Bristol already has a growing number of cycle lanes and footpaths, along with e-bike hire schemes and hybrid electric buses, but more work is required to spread and connect these across the city, to increase their visibility and appeal. Continued consultations will be required to overcome barriers that communities face to ditching diesel. And in the long-term, changes in the design of neighbourhoods is required to minimise the need to take a polluting vehicle for work, leisure and shopping.

Clean air balancing acts

The process towards reaching net-zero emissions is clearly a challenge for decision makers, as is the nature of politics. Redistributing the centres of power – be that from farmers, car owners or others – will require persistence and collective power. The Climate Strikes and acts of rebellion this year are signs that this table is starting to turn. They are disruptive but they are also constructive, demanding that citizen assemblies be established so the collective voice of ‘the people’ can be amplified.

The ClairCity project offers evidence to support the important role citizens can play in the future decision making of cities and in particular the process towards a future with clean air and net-zero emissions. We will be releasing our results in the coming months so stay tuned for more information.

January Newsletter 2019: ClairCity in View

This edition features highlights from ClairCity’s public awareness raising activities and the launch of the project’s mobile game – ClairCity Skylines. Also included is an analysis on the challenges and opportunities facing the partner cities and regions in relation to a future with clean air. View the newsletter here.