"A green city is a healthy place to live, work and play. It is not just a city that has an abundance of green space, but it is a modern, vibrant and resilient city with its eye on the future. Ultimately, a 'Green' city is a place that people want to be" University of Manchester Centre for Urban and Regional Ecology.
The Greening Manchester programme is all about Manchester's quest to become Britain's Greenest City. The success of a City is based around different things; it's social, economic and environmental well being. To continue Manchester's growth we have to think about a future that is sustainable.
As the City's economic infrastructure has grown, so has its environmental strengths. All the energy that the City Council's premises uses is from renewable sources, recycling rates are growing above the national average, Metrolink carries 19 million passengers a year and the City has gained Fairtrade status. In the private sector we have the tallest office block outside of London being covered in solar panels and developments like the Green Building tapping into consumer interest in environmental projects. The Greening Manchester programme aims to pull all this work together and give it a renewed focus.
As well as the environmental benefits of halting climate change there are many other benefits that being a green city will bring. A Greener City is a more attractive City, to residents, potential new residents and investors alike. The process itself will create jobs, and will result in reduced poverty and improved health as homes become more energy efficient and air pollution is reduced.
In order to achieve this ambitious programme the City Council will have to work in partnership with Manchester's residents, businesses, schools and colleges, trade unions, environmental campaigners, the community and voluntary sector and the media.
Because every City is different and starts from a different point it has been decided that the Greenest City will be that which makes the best year on year improvement. To do this we have come up with ten targets that we aim to measure Manchester's progress by:
Target 1 – Reduce CO2 emissions
Target 2 – Reduce contaminated land
Target 3 – Increase recycling
Target 4 – Environmental building standards
Target 5 – Complete a City tree audit
Target 6 – Decrease car use
Target 7 – Extend the Metrolink
Target 8 – Support renewable energy
Target 9 – Improve water Quality
Target 10 – Initiate three green initiatives a year