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

Summit's up for greening Greater Manchester

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has announced his ambitions for making Greater Manchester one of the leading green cities in Europe, through a landmark summit to be held in Spring 2018.

FutureShock – The Resilient City

If you pull back and look across the last 300 years, Manchester has proven to be the most resilient city in the world.

Compassion or selfishness? The study that reveals a perceptions gap in values in Greater Manchester

A Greater Manchester study into our values has found that an overwhelming majority of individuals in the region – 85% – prioritise ‘compassionate’ values, such as social justice, environmental protection, forgiveness and honesty above ‘selfish’ values, such as wealth and social status.

A plan for greener growth in Greater Manchester

Protecting our environmental assets and planning for good, green infrastructure across Greater Manchester with the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

Planning for 'Garden City Suburbs' in Greater Manchester

Great places don’t happen by accident, you need a plan.

Manchester skyline by Graeme Cooper

Sustainability emerges as a core theme in the shared vision for Manchester's future

Sustainable design, active travel and a low carbon economy all make it in as priorities for 'Our Manchester', the new ten year strategy for the city.

Axiomatic of Brunswick Park by Planit-IE

University of Manchester begins the re-greening of its campus

With the help of landscape architects Planit-IE and as part of its City of Trees commitments, the University of Manchester is bringing new green spaces into its £1bn transformation.

Image of Scout Moor by Flickr User Gidzy via a Creative Commons Licence www.flickr.com/photos/gidzy

Powering the region with new Green Alliance report on renewables

A new survey from Green Alliance has revealed the levels of renewables being generated by the cities and counties of England's North West, with Greater Manchester showing a strong performance in solar.

Want a low carbon Northern Powerhouse? Have your say on GM's new climate plan

Greater Manchester sets out latest plans for reducing carbon emissions and opens a public consultation on climate change.

The Mustard Tree. Photo by Tony West.

Health inequalities and shared responsibilities

A new report examines health inequalities in deprived communities across Greater Manchester. 

Fracking protest image by JustinWoolford via Flickr/Creative Commons

Fossil fuels must stay in the ground, say climate leaders

Climate leaders in Manchester come out against plans to extend fracking operations in neighbouring Lancashire.

Image by Sue Langford of cat on blue wall

Green down your street: planning eco-neighbourhoods

A series of workshops have been held to get pro-active plans off the ground for ‘eco neighbourhoods’ across Manchester.

Earth Hour in Brunei by Earth Hour

Should every hour be Earth Hour?

From dark skies to lower energy bills, there’s never been a better time to join the global switch off - and for more than an hour.

They’re not making a MESS of climate change in Marple

Platform reports on a roundtable in Marple where local people and activists got to share their views and concerns with Labour’s lead on climate change.

SSH Thermal Imaging Photo - ETI

Greater Manchester wins a place in £80m trial of smart heat and energy modelling

A trial of new energy modelling software could help Greater Manchester deliver a ‘master plan’ for sustainable local heating.

Real Life Science at Manchester Museum

Sustainability summer school planned for Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum has won this year's Lever Prize and intends to use it to launch a summer school dedicated to sustainability.

Hello blossom

Happiness? It’s growing on trees

As new research again shows a direct link between street trees and mental wellbeing, is it time to put renewed efforts into safeguarding Greater Manchester’s urban canopy?

Future climate in focus as 2014 sets new record temperature

As news breaks of another record-setting year for the global climate, what does the climate shift mean for our towns and cities? A ‘Future Climate Forum’ in February will be looking for some answers.

Heritage Oak in Wythenshawe Park

Heritage trees get a helping hand

Greater Manchester’s heritage trees are about to get some much needed tender loving care as a result of a new project from the Red Rose Forest, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

City of Wuhan taken by Flickr user ChaChaWei published under a Creative Commons license

Smart cities and a working week in Wuhan

Greater Manchester businesses with a possible part to play in ‘smart city solutions’ are being offered the chance to join a partnership project with Manchester’s sister city, Wuhan in Central China.

Ian Wray’s proposed Pennines National Park

Framing the future, with IPPR’s Great North Plan

How do we address huge disparities in infrastructure funding between London and the South East and the rest of Britain? Perhaps we need a Great North Plan.

Liège-Guillemins station designed by Santiago Calatrava courtesy of Flickr user Stijn Hosdez

On track for agglomeration: learning from Europe on High Speed Rail

Steve Connor reports on the Independent Transport Commission’s new report on the spatial effects of High Speed Rail investment schemes across Europe.

Manchester skyline by Simone Ridyard

Beautiful, healthy cities? We need a dialogue with Denmark

Danish and British experts are meeting in Manchester to ask a critical question: how do we create beautiful cities with a more resilient economy, healthier residents and a better quality of life for everyone?

Image by Mark Waugh

A low carbon dash from gas kicks off in Wigan, through a pioneering partnership with Japan

Council leaders, housing associations and Japanese technologists meet in Wigan to formally launch 600-home renewable heat project.

Child doing a low-carbon bag decoration at Carbon Active, a carbon literacy initiative. Photo by Jason Lock

The green heroes of Carbon Literacy

Manchester-based social enterprise Cooler Projects has won the Social Enterprise Award for Environmental Achievement in the prestigious North-West Green Hero awards.

'Rainy Date' by Hamed Parham

Adapt and thrive: Greater Manchester joins roster of EU cities adapting to climate change

Greater Manchester joins more than 60 other cities committed to integrating climate change into all key plans and strategies as part of 'Mayors Adapt'.

Mic image by Flickr user Mika Hiltunen under a Creative Commons licence

Platform Live: Food, Cities and Human Behaviour

On October 16, 2014, there will be a half day of inspiring talks and discussion from speakers from the city, academia and all over the world exploring the challenge and opportunity of sustainability.

Pedalling into prosperity: the economics of cycling

Steve Connor reports on the social and economic benefits we can expect from increased levels of cycling across Greater Manchester and why it makes economic sense to invest in cycling infrastructure.

Book review: The Battle for Sustainable Development

Steve Connor reviews the recently released 'England's Northwest and the Battle for Sustainable Development' by Walter Menzies.

Gothenburg by Flickr user Ulf Bodin under a Creative Commons licence

From Gothenburg to Cape Town with Mistra Urban Futures

Steve Connor reports from a project workshop with Gothenburg, Cape Town, Kisumu and Greater Manchester, sharing their insights on how sustainability is governed and delivered in their respective cities.

Crosby Beach Storm by Beverley Goodwin

People get ready: latest report from the Adaptation Sub-Committee

On July 9, a satellite event in Manchester will hear the latest report on UK priorities and progress for climate change adaptation.

A still from the film Journey to the Universe

Science, hope and the journey of the Universe

Join leading Yale scholars John Grim and Mary Evelyn for a screening of their Emmy award-winning film 'Journey of the Universe' and two associated discussion events on our place in the grand scheme of things.

Lead image above taken from the 2014 M:ACF Annual Report, featuring beekeeping atop Manchester Art Gallery. Photo by Len Grant.

Juniper keynote at a Certain Future AGM

Manchester's climate change plan will report on progress and feature a keynote address from a leading climate campaigner at its AGM on Tuesday, 10 June.

Religion is a force for good. Discuss.

Upcoming event: Manchester's new debating 'salon' takes on the secular question at Albert's Chop House in June.

Image of detail of low carbon housing retrofit by Charlie Baker

Smart communities demo for Low Carbon Hub

A new partnership between Greater Manchester's local authorities and one of Japan's leading organisations for energy research is delivering smart heat to 600 local homes.

TUC, NUS and UCU demonstration, Manchester, 29th January 2011 by Flickr user Plashing Vole

Poverty Action Group calls for an end to unfair benefits sanctions

Steve Connor reports on the latest call from the Greater Manchester Poverty Action Group to rein in cuts that are hitting the poorest, hardest.

vapour trails and electric wires

Event report - transition towards a low carbon economy

How can Greater Manchester secure a further 2.5m tonnes of carbon reductions, above and beyond business as usual, to ensure it hits its 48% target on CO2?

City council publishes its emissions reduction plans

Manchester City Council has set out ambitious plans to reduce its carbon emissions over the next three years.

Bedroom Tax has hit Wythenshawe hard, says social housing group

What impact did the Bedroom Tax have on Greater Manchester in 2013? Steve Connor reports on one snapshot that has been delivered in a pre-Christmas report from the Wythenshawe Community Housing Group

Global conference on urban health to hit Manchester in 2014

March 2014 will see policy makers and experts on urban health from across the world gather in Manchester for the 11th International Conference on Urban Health (ICUH).

Something's up: can you hear #OldhamCalling?

Something's going on, up in Oldham, and it's cascading out across every social media channel it can get a username for. Welcome to the #BraveNewOldham.

Manchester experts help shape EU climate policy

Manchester's climate change experts helped shape the direction of EU policy for adaptation this week, having been called upon to advise Europe on how it can prepare for future changes in our weather and climate.

Grow With Wyre Forestry apprentices, Fahra Collins & Andy Jones, courtesy Forestry Commission / Isobel Cameron

Urban forestry and developing a green economy

The idea that jobs in forestry, forest products and woodland management could be a boon for the urban metropolis of Manchester appears counter-intuitive, but there's real growth in trees.

Rethinking prosperity? This could be the conference for you

Event alert: a one-day conference is being held at MERCi’s Bridge 5 Mill in November to explore alternative ways to shape our local economy and measure progress beyond the narrow confines of Gross Domestic Product

Liz Newell speeds by the Brompton Dock at Piccadilly

City infrastructure and the great bicycle economy

With a further £20m to spend on cycling infrastructure, courtesy of its successful Vélocity funding bid, Greater Manchester is working hard to become a cycle-friendly city region, but what will be the economic impact?

Library walk

Greater Manchester's sustainability in numbers

If you can't measure it, you can't manage it, so here's Platform's first attempt at running the numbers on Greater Manchester's sustainability efforts, from waste, to cycling, to carbon.

retrofit

A Certain Future: Steering Group report

Last night (25th July 2013) saw the 25th meeting of Manchester’s stakeholder steering group for climate change; the group of volunteers from across all sectors and walks of life that guides the delivery of the city’s action plan: A Certain Future.

GMEV launches at the Intu Trafford Centre

Our friends electric: EV network goes live

A new electric vehicle charging point network and pay as you go programme, launches this weekend across all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester.

Regions 4 Green Growth Peer Review team in action

Euro-scoresheet for the city’s low carbon work plan

Greater Manchester’s low carbon report card gives top marks for ambition but with more work to do on engagement, according to a European peer review.

Original image by Tennen-Gas

Park up and plug in: Greater Manchester's new electric vehicle charging network

A new electric vehicle charging point network and pay as you go programme, led by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), has been announced by Sir Richard Leese at a launch at Manchester Central.

Going Dutch? Greater Manchester builds a £20m bid for cycle superhighways

Greater Manchester has made a bid for £20 million to make cycling safer and easier across the city region. If successful this will be the first phase of an ambitious "Vélocity 2025" strategy which will see cycling in Greater Manchester transformed over the next 12 years.

Happy now? Manchester's strategy for wellbeing

From the archives: in March 2008 Manchester City Council and the NHS published 'Happy Manchester' - a report on levels of mental wellbeing across the city and on initiatives being launched to improve mental health and gross domestic 'happiness'.

The Great Leap Forwards: the Northwest's sustainability revolution

From the archive: a 2003 report from Industrial Evolution magazine on the technologies, innovations and solutions driving the growth of the sustainability sector in the Northwest of England.

Evolutionary justice across England's Northwest

From the archives: When the land is neglected, communities fragment and when our natural capital is plundered, regional partnerships stand ready to step in and help communities to helpthemselves, through environmental improvement. Originally published in Industrial Evolution in 2002.

 

Detail of Metrolink in Manchester by Jan Chlebik

Changing tracks and cutting carbon

From an original article in IE, Steve Connor examines efforts to curb carbon emissions from road transport as the Northwest enters the 21st Century.

Rochdale Pioneer Museum

From Rochdale to Rio in the steps of Robert Owen

From the archives: Written to mark ten years since the first Earth Summit in Rio, this 2002 article from the magazine Industrial Evolution looks at the inspiration the Rochdale Pioneers gave to modern-day advocates of sustainability.