Future Plymouth Illustration - Joe Meldrum, Plymouth Design

Future Plymouth Illustration - Joe Meldrum, Plymouth Design

Future Plymouth 2030 is a series of webinars exploring collaborative pathways to achieve low carbon, sustainable development in our city, and providing a platform for knowledge exchange and collaborative action.
With buildings currently contributing the largest proportion of Plymouth's greenhouse gas emissions (at 31%), the Built Environment community is coming together to work towards the city's climate declaration goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.
Join us to hear the latest research, industry developments and case studies. Webinars will include speakers from the University represented from areas including architecture, building engineering, creative industries, science communication, power electronics, geography and environmental science.
The second season of webinars covered 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.

2021–22 webinars

Wednesday 20 October 2021 | COP Conversations: Is adaptation the Cinderella of climate change? | Watch the webinar on YouTube 
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has described Climate Adaptation as “still sitting in rags by the stove: under-resourced, underfunded and often ignored.” In the run up to COP26, where Climate Adaptation is a key theme, this webinar explored what’s happening locally and regionally to adapt our critical infrastructure to climate risk. Speakers were Peter Kydd, South West Infrastructure Partnership (SWIP) Chair, Lesley Hodgson, Senior Environmental Project Manager, Environment Agency, and Georgina Lockwood, Chartered Civil Engineer.

Wednesday 17 November 2021 | Our community’s response to the climate emergency and carbon reduction | Watch the webinar on YouTube 
Jessica Vaughan, Planning Officer at Plymouth City Council, explained the annual Plymouth Climate Challenge and the #BackTheFuture LIVE event that just happened in association with Crowdfunder. This initiative encourages anyone in the local community of Plymouth to propose initiatives with a positive environmental impact on the city and its residents, and rewards the winners with significant cash injections for their projects. Antony Jinman, polar adventurer and ‘local boy’ from Wembury/Plymstock, explained how his explorations to both poles and his ‘Education Through Expeditions’ (ETE) initiative to date have fuelled his desire for climate change education to be improved generally and how his proposed Plymouth Climate Challenge project this year ‘Our Planet, Your Path’ within a disused shop unit in our City centre could assist this. Caroline Blackler, who works in PR and Comms for POP, was inspired to pursue her Plymouth Climate Challenge idea last year despite having to pull out of the competition because of Lockdown2. Caroline is passionate that many of the post-war flat-roofed buildings in our city centre could – and should – be retrofitted with 'biosolar' roofs which would offer multiple benefits; mitigate many of the impacts of the climate crisis and help the city achieve zero carbon. As well as providing renewable energy from the photovoltaic arrays, the green roofs would act as a sponge; retain rainwater to be harvested and – significantly – help to mitigate the flood impact of the climate crisis in Plymouth City Centre.

Wednesday 1 December 2021 | Retrofitting buildings: the elephant in the room! | Watch the webinar on YouTube 
Jenny Pierpoint from the Retrofit Academy discussed the challenges and issues of making existing buildings perform better, and how getting certified as a Retrofit Assessor can support this effort. Doug Eltham from Devon County Council and the Devon Climate Emergency updated on the outcomes of the Citizen’s Assembly with a particular focus on the desire to retrofit our existing building stock. Finally, Claire Pearce, Project Manager of the Sustainability Hub: Low Carbon Devon Project and architect Nadine Wolz talked through the highly successful retrofit of the University's Sustainability Hub building to the highest retrofit SKA Gold rating which was ERDF funded.

Wednesday 15 December 2021 | Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and integrating nature into our buildings | Watch the webinar on YouTube 
Zoe Sydenham, Chartered Environmentalist, gave an update on some of the innovative nature-based projects she is involved in – including Green Minds, Plymouth Natural Grid and Future Parks – exploring what wildness means and the challenges and opportunities to engage communities, enterprise and organisations in connecting, conserving and rewilding nature in the city. Dr Thomas Murphy, Industrial Research Fellow for Green Walls on the Low Carbon Devon team at the University of Plymouth talked about woodland creation and its importance as an upstream nature-based solution (NbS) to downstream urban flooding. Robert Bedner, Chartered Technologist at CURA Design explained what biophilic design in architecture is and provide case studies that use nature within buildings.

Wednesday 12 January 2022 | How do young people feel about the climate emergency? | Watch the webinar on YouTube
Three guest speakers shared their research and experience of engaging with young people around the climate emergency. The University's Professor Alison Anderson discussed young people's awareness of the climate emergency based on her project 'Visualising Climate: young people's responses to the climate emergency' which was recently exhibited at COP26. Adam Milford, Senior Engagement and Learning Officer for The Box, Plymouth, talked about how museums are helping children to understand the climate emergency. Finally, Tim Gill, author of 'Urban Playground: How child-friendly planning and design can save cities' made the case for building places that work better for children and young people, especially in the wake of the pandemic and the climate crisis, and explore the links with urban sustainability.

Wednesday 26 January 2022 | Structural and civil engineering solutions to the climate emergency | Watch the webinar on YouTube 
Jonathan Derwent, Director at Hydrock Engineering shared his thoughts on Sustainable Structures and the important role that engineers have to play in that responsibility. Jack Walker, Chair of the Plymouth ICE Committee shared recent investigations into Low Carbon and Ultra Low Carbon Concrete and its availability locally, and Andrew Waugh, Director at Waugh Thistleton Architects talked about their success in producing beautiful, sustainable buildings using timber structurally, even for multi-storey solutions!

Wednesday 16 February 2022 | Futureproof housing: addressing the 'triple bottom line' | Watch the webinar on YouTube 
Emma Osmundsen, MD for Exeter City Living, talked about how value-based leadership can produce healthier and wealthier results for our future housing industry, addressing the ‘triple bottom line’ (social, environmental and financial). Anthony Greer, co-founder of TALO and Director of Corporate, presented on their Finnish inspired systems of timber construction that could be a solution for the British housing industry to embrace, and Phoebe MacDonald, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Advisor, talked about the importance of POE (Post Occupancy Evaluation) and retrofitting our existing buildings.

Wednesday 9 March 2022 | The biodiversity emergency and biodiversity net gain | Watch the webinar on YouTube 
Dr Sian Rees, Associate Professor of Social-Ecological Systems at the University, shared her work which contributed to a recent report by the British Ecological Society regarding how nature is essential to mitigate both the Climate and Biodiversity Emergencies. Dr Gemma Jerome, founder of Building with Nature, explained how this initiative started, whose mission it is to make high quality green infrastructure integral to place-making in the UK, maximising benefits for both citizens and the natural world, and how it can be used by local authorities. Tom Butterworth, Director and Head of Ecology for WSP UK, elaborated on their work advising the UK development industry on Biodiversity Net Gain, providing examples on successful implementation of this for some large-scale clients and projects.

Wednesday 23 March 2022 | Reduce reuse and recycle: how are we dealing with our waste? | Watch the webinar on YouTube 
ReCon Soil Low Carbon Technology Network Event

Professor Mark Fitzsimons from the University of Plymouth talked about the importance of understanding, using and protecting our soil to prevent soil degradation and it being considered a construction ‘waste’. Adam Willetts, architect at successful regeneration company Urban Splash, renowned for bringing redundant/historic ‘waste’ buildings back into modern day use all over the country, provided a narrative on their ethos and examples of their work here in Plymouth. Paul Carey and Jane Ford from MVV Environment Energy from Waste in Plymouth explained the pros and cons of preventing our household waste from going to land fill and using it in a productive way to generate heat and electricity.

Wednesday 6 April 2022 | Future electricity use and generation | Watch the webinar on YouTube 
Associate Professor Martyn Hann from the University of Plymouth discussed the potential for energy generation around our coasts and Plymouth's Floating Offshore Wind test facility. Adam Longfield, Senior Consultant at BRE National Solar Centre and Project Manager to South West Energy Hub, enlightened us on the developments and opportunities for energy generation by solar means in the South West, with an update on the proposals for such at Chelson Meadow by Philip Morris. Eimear Moloney, Director and Head of Building Performance for Hoare Lea, talked about what the future all-electric home or building might look like and the changes for us to consider.

Wednesday 27 April 2022 | How could the planning system better help climate change? | Watch the webinar on YouTube 
Hugh Ellis, TCPA (Town and Country Planning Association) Policy Director, explained why the Planning System needs to be at the heart of delivering the UK’s climate change targets. James Shorten, Geographer/Planner at TerraPermaGeo in Totnes believes that the planning system, “with greater imagination and fewer fetters”, could be doing much more to address the climate and ecological emergencies and spoke about what sustainability really is! Robert Lacey, Cornwall Council Planning Policy Group Leader, spoke about how they are working towards addressing climate change through planning, neighbourhood planning, green infrastructure and design in Cornwall.

Wednesday 11 May 2022 | Net zero carbon futures from a creative perspective | Watch the webinar on YouTube
Dr David Sergeant and Dr Emma Whittaker from the University of Plymouth talked about a project raising public awareness of the Devon Carbon Plan by empowering local communities to create positive ‘visions’ of a carbon net zero future. The Net-Zero Visions project unites community groups with creative professionals and net-zero transition experts to produce their vision in creative outputs including animations, illustrations, interactive games and public murals. Chloë Uden, Founder and Artistic Director of The Art and Energy Collective here in Plymouth, told us about the collaborative Moths to a Flame project which went to COP26 and introduced a new Art and Energy Club which will be open to all Plymouth residents and will lead to an exhibition of Plymouth people’s creativity responding to the climate emergency next year.

Wednesday 25 May 2022 | Resolving transport issues for a sustainable future | Watch the webinar on YouTube
John Green, Plymouth City Council Low Carbon Officer, talked about plans for mobility hubs across the city and other sustainable travel initiatives. Mark Hodgson, MD of Co Cars Ltd presented their vision for on demand electric shared mobility across the South West and how they are proud to be a not-for-profit co-operative social enterprise, and the University of Plymouth's Dr Andrew Seedhouse discussed smart ticketing which could be considered as one piece of the decarbonising transport jigsaw amongst other national initiatives.

Wednesday 8 June 2022 | Local environment issues and flooding | Watch the webinar on YouTube 
Frank Newell, Team Leader from the Environment Agency, Flood and Coastal Risk Management, explained the issues of flooding and rising sea levels from the Environment Agency's perspective. Rod Smith from John Grimes Partnership Ltd, and Richard Bara, urban designer and landscape architect at Plymouth City Council, discussed what the current and future issues around flooding in the South West and Plymouth specifically are, and how they are and could be solved in the future as the effects of climate change increase! Finally Matthew Parkes, architect at Stride Treglown, discussed some of the issues facing waterfront businesses and development areas, suggesting some radical ideas that could provide some solutions for Plymouth.

Tuesday 13 December 2022 | Net zero: how are we doing?
Cllr James Stoneman, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Governance, Plymouth City Council, provided an introduction and explanation of his new role at the council, together with some thoughts on why this is so important for Plymouth. Megan Pearce, Climate consultant at the MET Office, updated us on what the targets are, when they need to be achieved and who needs to help to achieve this if we stand any chance of achieving Net Zero Carbon, and Emmanuelle Marshall, Low Carbon City Officer, Plymouth City Council, updated on our progress and plans here in Plymouth.

Future Plymouth 2030 is organised by RIBA Plymouth in collaboration with the Sustainable Earth Institute and Low Carbon Devon project at the University of Plymouth (supported by the European Regional Development Fund), and with support from Plymouth City Council, local construction companies and professional institutes.

Future Plymouth 2030