Tag - birmingham city council

One touch of nature: The value of urban agriculture

Why does local food growing matter? What’s its value to a city?

How can we explain its impact? Indeed, how can we assess its impact and value to our society?

These matters are explored in One touch of nature: The value of urban agriculture, one of the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios series.

Here arguments from

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TNOfood 10th September 2012 table discussions: key actions

At the ten breakout tables tonight, attendees discussed five commitments and were asked to choose a key action point for each commitment (there’s often more than one per table though!)

Here are my paraphrased notes:

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Introduction by Councillor James McKay

Councillor James McKay

Cllr James McKay is Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City, responsible for creating an environment and sustainable infrastructure where people and businesses can flourish.

Cllr James McKay gaves his apologies for not attending tonight’s forum.

Here are notes paraphrased from Cllr McKay’s introduction

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Kate Cooper’s slides for the Birmingham Sustainability Forum on 10th September 2012

Here are my slides for the Birmingham Sustainability Forum meeting on 10th September 2012:

And here is a pdf of them (without builds):  The New Optimists & Birmingham City Council Sustainability Forum 10th Sept 2012.


New Optimists Forum: What’s happened so far

We’ve run three events: on 2nd November, on 9th February (specifically on food poverty) and on 1st March.

The outputs (recordings, transcripts from the conversations, blogposts, interviews, tweets) from these events are analysed under the guidance of Warwick Business School, and will be posted soon.

Meanwhile, here’s a one-pager summary of the impact of the New Optimists Forum: NewOptimistsForum-27thFeb2012.

Top of our impact list is that food and food issues are rising smartly up the agenda in the city. Indeed, there are more than a few intimations that food security will be part of Birmingham’s long-term strategic planning.

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2nd November: Join the conversation on food scenarios for Birmingham 2050

The first New Optimists Forum event is on 2nd November, beginning around 6pm. Join us on-line!

It’s the first in the series of facilitated events with regional scientists, the start of a conversation about food scenarios for Birmingham 2050.

Nick Booth and the Podnosh team will be blogging live throughout the event at newoptimists.com/blog and/or follow it all on twitter.com/newoptimists.

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David Bull, Birmingham City Council & the Forum

A bunch of scientists talking about the future of a city is interesting, but may or may not make a difference as they have little or no socio-political clout..

However, if you make sure the guys who make big decisions about infrastructure and investment, and know a tad or two about such matters as demographics, spatial planning and public institutions, also join the party, the odds increase greatly that something meaningful will happen.

And so David Bull, responsible for Development Strategy in Birmingham City Council, is coming along to the first Forum event on 2nd November.

His particular remit is in the provision of transportation infrastructure to support Birmingham’s Growth Agenda and investment for job creation in the city in the future. he has specifically been involved in major infrastructure projects that include the reconstruction of New Street Station, the Northfield Relief Road and the major development issues at Longbridge, plus a new Metro Extension in the city centre, with HS2Ltd and the DfT on the proposals for high speed rail from London to Brum.

He also knows the city well, having worked here for the last nine years, after having worked in West London Boroughs for 12 years.


Birmingham on brink of a new era in generating electricity

Birmingham City Council has plans to generate its own electricity. Harking back to the days of Joseph Chamberlain, the idea is supported by deputy council leader Paul Tilsley, who says that the use of solar panels could make this a reality.

There are already more concrete plans to generate power going on next to the Sack of Potatoes pub in Gosta Green. And I mean ‘concrete’ both metaphorically and literally.

Few people appear to have heard of this exciting development. Yet with £16.5M  of EU money, our very own Professor Andreas Hornung is pioneering a revolutionary carbon-negative  process under the auspices of the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI).

He’ll soon be in charge of an industrial-scale demonstrator power plant actually being

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