Back in 2020, Manchester was crowned Britain’s greenest citydue, largely in part, to the population’s effort and intention ofbeing eco-friendly. A higher proportion of residents in Manchester demonstrated behaviours such as switching off lights, travelling in electric vehicles and recycling than in many other cities.
But, three years on, how is the city fairing in terms of keeping up with its environmentally friendly reputation?
The Greater Manchester Green Spaces Fund is a £2.6m project that increased the amount of green space and parks available to residents. Projects included community gardens, tree trails and woodland enhancement, each helping to support the region’s wildlife as well as aiding local people in taking care of their mental health and well-being.
Over 12,000 trees have also been planted and improvements have been made to the city’s waterways, meaning more residents can enjoy the green spaces and canals, whether by foot or by bike.
Clearing the air
Manchester’s Clean Air Plan aims to reduce emissions and target fund the most pollutant-causing vehicles in the city. This plan, however, does not include a charging Clean Air Zone due to the costly impact of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis.
But, an increasing number of drivers are likely to already be looking for electric or hybrid vehicles from brands such as Peugeot within the Manchester area. This could also be due to the end of new petrol and diesel sales by 2030 and the fact that residents are mindful of their impact on the environment around them.
Manchester aims to be zero-carbon by 2038, a whole 12 years ahead of the official government target. This will be done by improving infrastructure, replacing council vehicles with electric fleets, supporting electric vehicle charging and removing single-use plastic from all council sites.
It is hoped that by leading by example, the changes will influence wider behaviour in line with zero emissions for the city.
Encouraging small business sustainability
Manchester has a dedicated resource to help support small and medium-sized businesses to increase their sustainability and reduce their impact on the environment. The city is also developing projects to fund greener energy systems in commercial businesses such as smart heating systems and sustainable refits.
Alongside this, there is work being carried out across public buildings to reduce emissions and schemes to develop renewable energy sources in the local area.
As well as reducing carbon and improving the ecosystem, it is hoped that the multiple green projects will create more jobs and improve the health and lifestyles of those who live and work in and around Manchester.
While some aspects of the plans are ambitious, the schemes and developments demonstrate a drive to succeed and to keep the location at the number one spot for Britain’s greenest city.