Platform. The everyday portal for sharing knowledge and intelligence on sustainability across Greater Manchester.

Biospheric Foundation signage

The Alternative? The Biospheric Foundation

The Alternative? Beth Perry profiles the Biospheric Foundation, an initiative for rethinking food production and distribution in the city.

Co-producing sustainable urban development

Dan Silver and Amina Lone on why sustainable urban development must take a more pro-active and systematic approach to include the perspectives of people who live and work in communities.

The Alternative? Rethinking sustainability

Beth Perry introduces a new series of articles - The Alternative? - which explores the concept of 'alternatives' in rethinking sustainability in Greater Manchester.

Perspectives essay: love food and hate waste

In this essay, Debbie Ellen and Lucy Danger focus on food to address sustainability in Greater Manchester.  In particular they illustrate the significant part played by food in the city region’s carbon footprint but the difficulty in producing a coordinated GM-level response.

Perspectives essay: social arts, creative flux and citizen led innovation

Professor Paul Haywood from the University of Salford argues that the domination of public  engagement and public funding by an increasingly professionalised creative sector has unintentionally forced citizens to find increasingly deviant and imaginative ways of preserving and promoting their own cultural enterprise (activism).

Cranes and cheery pickers on the Manchester skyline

Perspectives Essay: Manchester – A Sustainable Future

In this Perspectives Essay, the Leader of Manchester City Council, Richard Leese, argues that for the foreseeable future a healthy, sustainable future for Manchester and, by association, Greater Manchester depends on maintaining a growth trajectory. This is not growth at any cost. The city should continue to be capable of sustaining human life in a socially acceptable and civilised way. Drawing on evidence from the city’s recent history of urban development, he concludes that Manchester is going in the right direction, and that the city-region is taking the right approach, building consensus and taking people with it, but that the pace of change needs to quicken.

Perspectives essay: making the case for a people-centred approach to sustainability in Greater Manchester

In this essay, the Director of Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations (GMCVO), Alex Whinnom, argues that if Greater Manchester is to be a sustainable city it needs to address a number of key challenges, the biggest of which is to involve all citizens in discussing and developing a shared perspective of what sustainability means -- what it might look like, why it is important and how it can be achieved.

Greater Manchester skyline

Perspectives Essay: How can sustainability be understood in Greater Manchester?

In this Perspectives Essay, written for the University of Salford and Mistra Urban Futures GMLIP programme, Eamonn Boylan promotes a view of sustainability based on transforming the quality of provision of public agencies as a means of creating opportunities for people to make logical choices that support sustainable outcomes and increase personal independence.

Perspectives Essay: Creating Sustainable Communities

In this essay, Alison Surtees argues that we need to work together differently if we want to create sustainable communities. A balance has to be struck between economics (who pays), ecology (impact on environment) and society (communities); and everyone (communities, the public, private and third sector) has to be involved, bringing their expertise in each area to ensure collective ownership.

Perspectives Essay: Knowledge for Sustainability

How can we achieve true sustainability in Greater Manchester? The central theme of Caroline Downey's essay is that the individualistic, economic growth paradigm has not worked, cannot work, and is threatening our very existence. Without a fundamental shift in governance and ideology, a sustainable future for humans is difficult to imagine.


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