Mon 2 March 2020, 2:21 pm
Council leaders shared their ideas and achievements on environmental issues, during the closing panel discussion at Sitematch London.
Members of the panel included Hounslow Council leader, Councillor Steve Curran, Barking and Dagenham Council leader, Darren Rodwell and Councillor Jayne McCoy, deputy leader of Sutton Council.
The panel also discussed the problems of procurement and affordable homes, with a focus on the need to consider growth as well as carbon reduction at the event on 6 February.
McCoy said: “Growth tends to be taking every spare bit of land and building on it, and that’s not right and not what London needs. We’ve got to value the green space we’ve got. The green lungs of the city are important, and what makes the city vibrant and a city you would want to come to. If you build and urbanise every single corner of it, it’s not going to be attractive as a place to visit, or to work as an international centre."
Curran added: “We’re looking at our first major council regeneration of an estate, and how we’re going to meet the carbon neutral target. The core position we’ve all got to have in the industry is delivering, as far as possible, carbon neutral homes for people for the future. We’ll all go to electric cars at some point apparently, so we’re all going to have to move and do it together.”
Rodwell said he was the first leader in the capital to have a fully-electric car and it was crucial to “lead by example”.
He added: “We really have to start thinking about what it is our children, and our grandchildren, want because at the moment they’re telling us and we’re still not listening.”
Talking about how the environment could be helped if green actions could be weaved into developments he gave an example about cycle paths.
He explained: “With cycle paths we use tarmac which destroys the planet – why aren’t we using recycled plastic with crushed glass, and then putting solar panels in between the two? The technology is there, but we just don’t use it so every cycle path would make energy.”
Discussing the climate emergency, Curran added: “Everything we do we have to think how can we make this development, or this policy, this process and supply chain as carbon neutral as possible.”
The panel was led by Inner Circle Consulting’s director Jamie Ounan. Talking about the speed-dating events happening through the day between public and private sector delegates he said: “I hope they were all successful, and there are lots of second dates being arranged. I hope the development industry have really soaked up the local knowledge because every place is unique.”
He added this year’s event was “the most successful Sitematch ever in terms of numbers”.
To learn more about Sitematch London head to the website: www.sitematchlondon.com
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