An innovative 20-year project which has made a significant contribution to the quality of life and economic development in Falkirk has been shortlisted for a national rural planning award.
The Falkirk Greenspace Initiative (FGI) is one of the three projects shortlisted in the Exemplary Rural Planning category of the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence.
The flagship partnership project - between Falkirk Council and environmental charity Central Scotland Forest Trust (CSFT) - was created in 1993 to transform the environment, improve the local quality of life and attract inward investment.
Through the initiative, a mosaic of community woodlands and other habitats connected by local access networks have provided a major recreational resource for local people and visitors, as well as an attractive framework for new developments of all kinds. The project has also significantly enhanced the natural and cultural heritage value of the area, now and for the future.
Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Falkirk Council’s spokesman for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “It’s great that our Greenspace project has been shortlisted for a UK award.
“It’s a terrific endorsement of the work led by our planning and environment manager, Alan Rodger, and his fantastic team.
“The Royal Town Planning Institute’s awards will be announced in July and I hope we’re successful. However, the real winners have been the people of Falkirk district who have seen terrific environmental improvements right across the district over the past 20 years.”
Simon Rennie, Chief Executive of Central Scotland Forest Trust, said: “We are very proud that the initiative has been shortlisted for this award and this recognition follows success at the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning in 2012, where FGI was awarded a ‘gold’ in the Development on the Ground category and also received the highest accolade of the overall winner for outstanding achievement.”
Dr Peter Geraghty, President of the RTPI, said: “The entries this year demonstrate the very diverse nature of planning projects in the countryside that are positively contributing to the rural economy as well as valuing the intrinsic nature of the environment. This will be a hotly contested category.”
The winner will be announced on the 10 July at the RTPI Planning Awards for Excellence ceremony in London. For more information about the shortlisted projects visit the RTPI website
.Published 21 May 2013 in Local Government
The Committee on Climate Change’s recent report on the UK’s carbon footprint identifies a growing need to cut imported emissions as well as those produced in the UK.
In the report Reducing the UK’s carbon footprint and managing competitiveness risks, The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) examines the size of UK’s carbon footprint and the impact of low-carbon policies on UK competitiveness.
The report finds that UK’s carbon footprint has increased over the past two decades, as growth in imported emissions has more than offset reductions in production emissions within the UK. The UK’s total carbon footprint comprises:
- Production emissions from burning fossil fuels for electricity generation, in transport including aviation and shipping, and industrial production;
- Direct emissions from heating in households and businesses;
- Emissions related to a number of other activities such as agricultural, forestry, and waste management activities;
- Imported emissions (embedded in our consumption of imported goods and services).
Reductions of around 20% in production emissions over the last two decades have limited growth in the UK’s carbon footprint, but the CCC estimates that the total carbon footprint has increased by 10% or more through increased imports, as incomes have grown and manufacturing has shifted to other countries. The report considers whether carbon policies have contributed to this shift in manufacturing, but concludes that this is not the case.
While the UK’s total carbon footprint has increased over the past two decades, the CCC concludes that it could fall by 70% by 2050, provided a global deal to achieve climate objectives is agreed.
The CCC also identifies policies needed alongside a global deal:
- International climate finance for developing countries to implement mitigation and adaptation measures
- Sectoral agreements
- Policies to encourage resource efficiency and sustainable consumption
Reducing the UK’s carbon footprint and managing competitiveness risks : full report available to download
.Published 14 May 2013 in Climate Change
The consultation process for the future Scottish planning system was launched by the Scottish Government last week. The third National Planning Framework (NPF3) and draft Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) will influence development plans across Scotland and guide future planning decisions on a range of sectors including transport, energy and infrastructure.
The NPF3 proposals set out the Government’s priorities for where important development should take place, identifying new, large-scale national developments including:
- Two carbon capture and storage schemes at Peterhead and Grangemouth
- Prestwick Airport and adjacent Enterprise Area, focusing on the aerospace sector
For the first time Scottish Planning Policy will include references to maps of Scotland’s wild land – drawn up by Scottish Natural Heritage. In addition, the Government proposes extending the separation distance between wind farms and cities, towns and villages.
In relation to wind farms, proposals also include strengthening environmental protection in the 31 per cent of Scotland covered by our wildest and most scenic land, including no wind farms in the 19 per cent of Scotland covered by National Parks and National Scenic Areas.
Announcing the consultation, Planning Minister Derek Mackay said:
“Scotland needs a planning system that has, at its heart, the overriding principle of delivering sustainable economic growth in order to maximise the country’s attraction to investors and visitors in a global economy. We want future planning decisions to give significant weight to the economic benefit of proposed developments, particularly the creation of new jobs.
“By providing a clear vision, the proposals will be used to guide future development that will help Scotland achieve its ambitious renewable energy targets and also increase protection for our country’s most environmentally important areas. We will support our review of town centres by insisting that major new developments which attract people - like workplaces, leisure facilities and shops - are in town centres wherever possible. We want to see development which ensures lively, successful and viable town centres.
“I am keen that planning does more to encourage good design, and the creation of the kind of places we would all like to live in or visit. Our forthcoming policy on Architecture and Place will show what we are doing to achieve this.
“We want to hear the views of the people of Scotland and will reflect carefully on all responses received. I want this process to be as inclusive as possible so we can come together to agree our priorities.”
The proposed National Developments are:
1. Onshore infrastructure for offshore renewable energy
2. Grid infrastructure enhancements
3. Baseload capacity at existing sites: Longannet and Cockenzie
4. Grangemouth and Peterhead Carbon Capture and Storage
5. National Cycling and Walking Network
6. Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Plan
7. Central Scotland Green Network
8. Dundee Waterfront
10. Aberdeen Harbour
11. Grangemouth Investment Zone
12. Freight Capacity on the Forth
13. High Speed Rail
14. Airport Enhancements: Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Prestwick
A series of public events will be held around the country in coming months, giving people the chance to have their say on the proposed changes. It is expected that following consultation, the SPP will be finalised by the end of 2013, with NPF3 being adopted by 2014
You can download the consultation documents here.
Published 07 May 2013 in Sustainable Development
Glasgow has been shortlisted to be named European Green Capital in 2015. The city is one of just four to have reached the final stage of selection - together with Bristol, Brussels and Ljubljana.
Final judging will take place in Brussels on May 24, with the winner announced in Nantes, the current capital, in the summer. Glasgow and Bristol are vying to become the first British city to hold the title.
Glasgow's bid champion Bailie Liz Cameron said: "This is a wonderful endorsement of everything that Glasgow is doing - in public services, industry, our universities and in our local communities - to build a more sustainable city. To be shortlisted from such strong competition is an achievement in itself; but we have a strong bid. I'm looking forward to showing our European partners exactly why Glasgow is fast becoming a hub for renewable energy research and low carbon jobs.”
A total of eight cities submitted bids for the title: Glasgow (UK), Brussels (Belgium), Dublin (Ireland), Bristol (UK), Bydgoszcz (Poland), Kaunas (Lithuania), Kutahyu (Turkey) and Ljubljana (Slovenia).
Bids were assessed against 12 key environmental themes, including innovation and sustainable employment, energy performance, water consumption, waste water treatment and climate change.
Previous winners include Stockholm, Hamburg and Vitoria-Gasteiz. The current title holder is Nantes, and Copenhagen will take the crown in 2014.Published 30 April 2013 in Sustainability and Climate Change
“Adapting to Climate Change: An introduction for Public Sector policy makers, resource managers and practitioners”, has just been updated by Adaptation Scotland to meet the demand for information about climate change impacts and adaptation. Originally published in 2011, Adaptation Scotland hopes that the updated guide will continue to be used within Scotland’s public sector to raise awareness of the consequences of climate change and extreme weather impacts.
To ensure relevance for Scotland’s public bodies, the guide was developed by Adaptation Scotland in partnership with COSLA, SEPA, the Scottish Government and SSN. The guide features case studies from the TAYplan Strategic Development Authority, Aberdeenshire Council and Climate Ready Clyde, a novel partnership-based approach to adaptation initiated and managed by Adaptation Scotland.
Adaptation Scotland says that the public sector is increasingly recognising the benefits of building resilience to climate change. As well as having to comply with the Public Bodies Climate Change Duties established by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, it points out that taking early adaptation action can reduce the cost of service disruption; protect vulnerable sites, services and communities; and encourage joint ownership of shared risks.
The guide encourages public sector organisations to undertake their own adaptation studies to inform existing policies, plans and actions which can either be mainstreamed into ‘business as usual’ or through dedicated adaptation plans. The updated edition contains three case studies which showcase how Scotland’s public sector is already taking action to build resilience to climate change impacts – as well as positioning itself to take advantage of the opportunities.
These case studies, part of a growing body of public sector examples of adaptation across Scotland, are proof that Scotland has progressed beyond the debate of whether climate change is happening; whether it is natural or manmade; and whether we need to adapt. Extreme weather and climate change pose threats and opportunities to Scotland’s public services, the organisation points out, and we need to ensure they are resilient to change.
You can download the document here
to find out more about the changes in climate that are likely to affect your organisation and the communities that you serve. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
to request hard copies for your own workshops and events. Published 23 April 2013 in Sustainability and Climate Change