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Sustainability through collaboration

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There is ongoing need to move to a low carbon society. Nationally, the austerity agenda is driving changes in local government. Locally, the way forward is thought to lie with increased collaboration.

Brighton and Hove City Council hopes that a new collaborative approach - between communities, businesses and local government - will reduce costs and decrease inequality. Such an approach could also accelerate progress to a more bio-diverse, low carbon and sustainable city-region - or it could lock-in new practices that hinder this common objective.

In this series of three workshops we will examine these issues and formulate possible ways forward for the environmental sustainability agenda in Brighton and Hove, explore shifting national and local contexts and ask what new ‘collaborative approaches’ might mean in practice. The workshops aim to facilitate collective understanding and problem-solving and will result in a number of collective outputs.

NB: The series is split over three evenings in order to make them accessible and to help development of ideas. It would be great if you could attend all three but we recognise this is a big ask. More information will be provided before and after each workshop to allow those unable to attend a workshop a means to follow progress & debate.



Workshop 1: Thursday 17th March, Friends Meeting House, Ship Street

Food from 5.30, workshop 6-8pm

Emma McDermott (Head of Communities and Equalities, BHCC) will introduce Council pressures and proposed response: the Community Collaboration programme. Following questions and discussion, short introductions will then explore these issues in relation to green spaces and major new development projects in Brighton and Hove.

For a summary of the workshop see here: http://blog.acceleratingtransitions.eu/?p=3026

Workshop 2: Thursday 14th April, Friends Meeting House, Ship Street

Food from 5.30, workshop 6-8pm

This workshop will take an in depth look at a bottom-up participatory area (the changing role of green spaces) and the development of big, long-lasting infrastructure projects in Brighton and Hove. A variety of organisations and grassroots initiatives will kick-off discussion with recent experience before we explore issues, challenges and ways forward.


Workshop 3: Thursday 5th May, Synergy Centre, West Street

Food from 5.30, workshop 6-8pm

The third workshop will use insights and ideas collected from the previous workshops to develop a number of collective outputs, including the formulation of ways forward to promote sustainability in Brighton and Hove.



What kind of outputs do we hope for?

We would like to develop ideas for a practical path that might lead to a more sustainable city. This depends on a broadly shared vision of what the city might look like in 2030 and beyond, but it also needs to contain specific steps that we might all take in the near term to help get us there. How can citizen-led initiatives respond to the changed local government context in ways that promote sustainability and how far can they do this in alliance across initiatives? How can more sustainable practices be embedded locally, especially in big commercial developments? How can the City Council facilitate these processes? One way to progress these aims is a collective input to the Councils community collaboration programme, including what are the issues that need to be addressed in this new structure? These are our initial ideas for outputs: we are open to all other suggestions as the workshops evolve.

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