Bristol shortlisted for the European Green Capital of 2014

Bristol is going for the green and, peripherally, some of the gold. On the short list for the title of European Green Capital of 2014, the city will be vying with Frankfurt and Copenhagen to demonstrate that it is or soon will be the most environmentally friendly city in Europe. Since it lost out for the title in 2009, Bristol has not been idle, and it has much in its favour with plans for more.

Several reasons have been noted for the city’s attraction to ‘green’ businesses, including excellent transportation links and a well-educated work force. Next to London, Bristol has the country’s largest micro-electronics cluster as well as two world-class universities, with two more in nearby Bath, so there are a lot of young graduates well prepared to work and innovate.

Bristol also hosts almost 1500 media companies, mostly small, environmentally conscious and entrepreneurial, as well as a strong BBC presence. A few examples of the media contributing to a green environment would be Aardman Animations, Arnolfini and Watershed. Sustrans and the Soil Association are among the city’s many green institutions.

The city’s efforts in reducing its carbon footprint are also impressive; wind turbines at Avonmouth already supply renewable energy and the city planners are working on a strategy for a renewable energy company for the entire city. Bristol is currently the UK’s only ‘Cycling City’

If Bristol captures the Green title, the reward will not be in prize money but in jobs provided by green companies and by positive media coverage. Of course there is also a wealth of consequential health benefits that a greener environment offers for those who live and work in the city.