City partners set to launch second season of Future Plymouth 2030 webinars

Future Plymouth 2030 - artwork by Joe Meldrum

An acclaimed webinar series that brings together leading lights in the sustainability sector to discuss issues such as positive climate action and creating greener cities is set to return this autumn.

The second season of Future Plymouth 2030 will launch in October with a new programme covering topics such as future energy, transport, local environment and flooding, climate change education, adaptive re-use of cities, and embodied energy.

Led by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in partnership with Stride Treglown Architects, the University’s Sustainable Earth Institute, Low Carbon Devon and Plymouth City Council – and supported by a host of construction companies and professional institutes – Future Plymouth 2030 has earned praise for the way it has focused on key issues relating to low carbon futures. This has included a host of awards nominations, including two shortlistings at Constructing Excellence South West 2021, and a further three in the Plymouth Business Awards so far.

Sarah Lee, Senior Associate Architect at Stride Treglown, and lead organiser for the series, said: 

“The aim of Future Plymouth 2030 is to explore the collaborative journeys that we must take and the education needed if we are to improve the sustainability of our cities and regions, and to present some of the tools we’ll need to realise our low carbon ambitions. The first season was a tremendous success, and we hope the second will prove even more engaging and thought-provoking.”

Originally planned as a two-day conference, Future Plymouth 2030 was reimagined in the wake of the pandemic and launched last year as an ongoing, regular online webinar series. The first season featured 14 live webinars, 48 speakers and 28 hours of content, and drew attendees from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, North and South America, and Asia and Russia.

Among the topics covered were the practical skills and technologies required to design and build better performing new buildings; how to tackle the retrofitting of existing buildings; improving biodiversity, local options for carbon sequestration; and the behaviour change required to achieve any of this – with speakers drawn from both industry and academia.

“We know that we need to reduce the amount of carbon that we use in the development of our cities,” 

said Dr Paul Hardman, Deputy Director of Low Carbon Devon at the University. 

“The value of Future Plymouth 2030 is its focus upon the tools that will be required to realise this goal of a sustainable city and helping us to define the path in order to get there.”

Season 2 will kick off with the RIBA South West Annual lecture on 6 October – to be both hosted online and delivered in person at the Roland Levinsky Building on campus. This year’s speaker is architect Lynne Sullivan OBE, founder of sustainableBYdesign and an experienced author and chair of several policy reviews and research projects at governmental level.

Paul Barnard MBE, Service Director, Strategic Planning & Infrastructure, Plymouth City Council, said 

“Tackling climate change is a huge challenge, and one we are meeting head on with our Climate Emergency Action Plan. But if we are to build a greener and more sustainable city, we need genuine cross-sector collaboration and an open dialogue around the changes that have to be made and the skills required to deliver them. Future Plymouth 2030 represents an ideal forum for such innovation and ideas.”

“Future Plymouth 2030 (FP2030) is a great example of partnership in Plymouth,” 

added Claire Bower, Architectural Communities Coordinator, at RIBA South West. 

“And its impact and reach have extended far beyond our city and region, crossing geographic boundaries around the world. Our hope is that season 2 continues that trend of bringing people together to explore how we might create a more sustainable future for the planet, wherever we are.”

If you would like to register for one of the free webinars – or would like more information – visit Future Plymouth 2030.

Sustainability Hub: Low Carbon Devon

The Sustainability Hub: Low Carbon Devon project provides an exciting new catalyst for low-carbon economic growth in Devon.

Supported by an investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the three-year £2.6 million programme, will support Devon-based organisations to access research, business support, and engage with the University of Plymouth around the low-carbon agenda.

Sustainable Earth Institute 

The Sustainable Earth Institute is about promoting a new way of thinking about the future of our world.

We bring researchers together with businesses, community groups and individuals to develop cutting-edge research and innovative approaches that build resilience to global challenges. 

We link diverse research areas across the University including science, engineering, arts, humanities, health and business.

Find out more about the institute