Southampton launches its Green City plan for 2030

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SOUTHAMPTON City Council has published its Green City Plan 2030, setting ambitious vision for a ‘cleaner, greener, healthier and more sustainable council’.

With more than 60 specific actions delivered in the next three years, the Council’s Green City Plan explains the principles it will apply, its priorities and the outcomes its wants to achieve over the next 10 years.

It also outlines the progress that has already been made and how ongoing progress will be measured.

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Christopher Hammond, commented the plans: “This generation inherited a legacy where human actions led to polluted air and lasting damage to our planet.

“It’s our task to reverse the impact caused, so we can pass on a healthier planet to the next generation.

“Southampton City Council will lead by example, set ourselves challenging goals and influence others to act.”

In response to the climate emergency the Plan commits to achieving net zero emissions in its commercial buildings by 2030, increasing the proportion of renewable energy generated and the proportion of zero and low emission vehicles used.

However, the Plan recognises the interconnected nature of the environment and extends across five themes:

Sustainable Energy and Carbon Reduction

  • By 2030 council corporate assets will have net zero carbon footprint
  • 90% of the council fleet will be zero-emission by 2030

Delivering clean air

  • 100% of taxi and private hire fleet low emission or clean air zone compliant by 2023
  • 100% of bus routes will be serviced by clean air zone compliant vehicles by end of 2020
  • Work with partners to deliver the infrastructure needed to support a zero emission public transport system across the city by 2030

Natural environment

  • At least 25 new urban wildflower meadows introduced by 2025
  • Increase city tree coverage by planting at least 5,000 trees in public land by 2030
  • Establish a Green Space volunteers Forum in 2020 to harness public interest in improving the city’s open spaces

Resources, waste and water management

  • Double waste recycling rates by 2030
  • A new council Ethical and Sustainable Procurement Policy operating by 2021

Sustainable travel

  • 15% of journeys into the city will be by bike by 2027
  • Be in the top 10% UK cities for number of public electric vehicle charging units by 2025
  • Deliver two Active Travel Zones in the city by 2025

Councillor Stephen Leggett, Southampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Green City, added: “A transition towards a zero carbon, cleaner economy and greener landscape will enable the city to grow and evolve as a modern, healthy and attractive place to live, work and do business.

“I am proud to endorse the Plan which outlines how over the coming years we will ensure the Council delivers on those commitments it outlined when the Green City Charter was published.”

The Council set out a shared vision when it published the Green City Charter in 2019 and now this plan illustrates how it will satisfy the aspirations it first established.

To date over 70 signatories have pledged their support, including 14 key organisations such as the Universities, the Port and other stakeholders.

The Green City Plan 2030 and the Green City Charter can both be downloaded from the Council website.