Member in the spotlight: The Year of Living Sustainably
In 2015, Polis member Bristol is Europe's official Green Capital. George Ferguson, the Mayor of Bristol, gave Polis' Dagmar Köhler an insight into the role transport plays in a sustainable city region, attitudes towards changes in the transport system and why international cooperation has been a major pillar of Bristol's path to success.
What role does a city's transport system play in it becoming a sustainable city, and ultimately to be awarded the Green Capital of Europe?
Ferguson: It is a vital one that makes a major contribution to the bigger picture of a healthy and sustainable city. Bristol is a complex, historic city making transport connections especially challenging. There is no simple solution to an unacceptably high level of congestion. We must pursue a flexible but high performing public transport network, encouragement of active transport in the form of walking and cycling, and a 'carrot and stick' approach to entice people out of their cars, and to share them, if we are to have streets that are no longer clogged with traffic, and air that is safe to breathe.
Many cities face opposition against measures perceived to be threatening drivers. Do you have the support of citizens to make Bristol's transport system more sustainable?
I think I do in general, although the noise from some drivers might indicate otherwise! New transport measures will always be controversial and there has been some opposition to the introduction of... [CONTINUE READING]
The full interview has been published in the 'Thinking Cities' magazine, a joint publication of Polis and H3B Media. Issue 3, November/2014, page 16. Access it here.