Manchester is set to lead a new European Commission-funded project to help cities create high-quality green spaces at the heart of local communities.
Grow Green is a five-year project which will demonstrate how ‘greening’ can help cities to manage the risks of climate change, improve health outcomes and ensure protection and improvement for the natural environment, while they continue to develop and grow.
The project, which kicks off this summer and involves partner cities from across Europe, plus Manchester’s Chinese sister city Wuhan, will provide resources to help build on the many greening projects already underway across Manchester – from the tree-planting and green roof project in Manchester city centre’s Stevenson Square, through to last year’s Grow Wild project, which helped local residents to plant wild flowers in Hulme.
Through Grow Green, residents in West Gorton will be supported to plan the transformation of their area into an exemplar green neighbourhood, with trees, parks, community planting and other environmental initiatives incorporated to support local wildlife, reduce flood risk and achieve the wide range of leisure and health benefits that green spaces provide.
Manchester City Council, the University of Manchester, Manchester Climate Change Agency, the Guinness Partnership and international experts will help residents to design the healthy, green neighbourhood that they want for to see for the future.
Maggie Newton, chair of the West Gorton Residents Steering Group, said: ‘Residents are thrilled that this funding has been secured for West Gorton. Environmental improvements will enhance the local area, add value to the ongoing regeneration of the neighbourhood and provide much needed quality green space for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
Councillor Angeliki Stogia, Executive Member for Environment at Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester is a city with ambitious commitments on climate change and environmental improvement, which is why we’re keen to take full advantage of the Grow Green project.
“Building green space into our neighbourhoods creates real benefits for Manchester residents and we look forward to working with the community in West Gorton and with groups across the city, to help bring about the local improvements they want to see in their area.
“By collaborating with residents and businesses, plus our partners across Europe and in Wuhan, we will support and inspire each other to create healthier, greener neighbourhoods for the future.”
Jonny Sadler, Programme Director at Manchester Climate Change Agency, said: “What a fantastic achievement for the city to be leading such an exciting international project.
Grow Green is yet another example of the critically important work being done by cities to tackle climate change, demonstrating that not only can they lead the way on climate action, but that this work can go hand-in-hand with economic success and improving the health of local people.”