Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

European Green Capital Award 2014

And yes, it could be Bristol. We're in the final three of nineteen starters.... along with Frankfurt and Copenhagen. 

The final's on June 8th, when the three will pitch their bids to a panel of international judges. When, a few days later, the winner is declared, expect celebrations like we had when the Olympics were awarded. Though not necessarily here.

The notion of Bristol as THE European Green Capital for 2014 may seem just a bit fanciful.    OK, we've probably got more than UK average green initiatives and the groups to promote them. But the council (and especially business) take rather less interest. If, as the Tories would wish, we get a mayor who's primarily interested in public cutbacks and business growth, we can expect green issues to take a back seat.

So it's easy to dismiss the city's bid, and, with it, the campaign to persuade us all to sign up in support.

But best not be hasty. The council may be much less green than it could be – but it is a master of the green spin that could just take the prize (who else could promote a new highway to carry around 20,000 vehicles a day as if it was essentially a 'green' bus route; when only 150 of those vehicles would be buses!) And if Bristol should win, who will step up to accept the big prize, with a few well-chosen weasel words? None other than one of the biggest advocates of building on the green belt!

If Bristol should win, the city and its new all-powerful mayor will be under huge pressure to show, in 2014, that it can live up to Europe's accolade.

So, me, I'll sign up to the bid.

[added 22/5/2012]
 The 'expert appraisal' of all 12 performance measures for the three finalists can be viewed here 
Much more about the award and how it works on the Green Capital website 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Accessible Art of Yarn Bombing

One of the more appealing sides of the international arts scene!

Totterdown played a part in it late last year, as these pictures taken in Arnos Vale Cemetery today show.

Saw at the weekend that someone in Saltburn-by-sea has been doing a bit there too – taking advantage of the pier railings, and going out at dead of night to add to it. 

 Much of it has an olympic theme (you can even spot the rings, but don't tell the authorities).

Arguably these homespun efforts are far more inspiring than Anish Kapoor's 'Orbit'. It's in the eye of the beholder, of course.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

TARnished Earth

Still time to catch the Co-operative's powerful "Tarnished Earth" display in Broadmead (until next Tuesday, 8th May) - or, more important, to sign the petition that goes with it.

There's more from the Co-op explaining its campaign to stop the climate-changing devastation that goes hand in hand with exploitation of the Canadian tar sands (and other particularly dirty sources of oil and gas) on this page.