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Improving Air Quality in the City

  • Waterfront Meeting Rooms Welsh Back Bristol, BS1 4SB (map)

The Future Economy Network is thrilled to be welcoming representatives from The University of the West of England, Hydrock & Life Cycle UK to discuss how we can take simple steps to improve Air Quality around the city and in your business.

Poor air quality is not a single issue that can be looked at in isolation. It is part of a wider systemic sustainability issue about how, as a society, we chose to travel around our towns and cities.

Blaise Kelly, Senior Air Quality Consultant at Hydrock will be dicussing, Air Pollution, Energy and Clean Air Zones & the effects of air pollution. Do the new cars on the market actually produce fewer emissions? 6 tanks of petrol in an average car contain the same energy as the average household's entire annual electricity consumption. How would miles per gallon and CO2 emissions look after implementation of Clean Air Zones (CAZ)? Using real world emissions data from Emissions Analytics and data from the Bath CAZ study, Blaise takes an alternative look at emissions if a CAZ were implemented in Bath and other cities and discusses whether it is the right solution.

Graham Parkhurst, Professor of Sustainable Mobility and Director of the Centre for Transport & Society, UWE Bristol will consider how failure to act consistently and significantly over a period of 25 years now leaves us in a situation of Crisis Management. His presentation will briefly consider the historical context of the crisis before turning to consider Clean Air Zones as an imperfect solution with a number of limitations and possible unintended consequences. The final part of his presentation will consider the relative pros and cons of other policy measures. It is concluded that there is now a strengthened consensus that something must be done, and if a more strategic solution is not possible then imperfect though they may be, Clean Air Zones should be adopted.

Poppy Brett, CEO at Life Cycle will address the challenges of getting people on bikes and provide information, advice and inspiration to businesses wanting to create a cycling culture within their organisations, and wanting to encourage their staff to shift some or all of their journeys to the bike.

Life Cycle look for solutions that are sustainable in all senses of the word – good for the environment, good for individual health and wellbeing and good for financial sustainability. Cycling is carbon-free, emission free, affordable, healthy, and could cut congestion and improve air quality overnight if enough people chose to do it. The problem is that they don’t.

Life Cycle doesn’t need to persuade anyone of the benefits to air quality and the wider environment of cycling. People already know this. But they do have a challenge on their hands. Just because people know this, it doesn’t mean they will do it. Life Cycle is here to demonstrate to individuals, business and communities that cycling is safe, easy, and practical - and that switching from private car use to private bike use is the way to go.


13:00 - 13:15 - Registration

13:15 - 13:25 - Introduction from The Future Economy Network

13:25 - 13:40 – Blaise Kelly - Hydrock

13:40 – 13:55 – Graham Parkhurst  - UWE

13:55 - 14:10 –  Poppy Brett - Life Cycle UK

14:10 - 14:20 - Q&A

14:20 - 14:25 - 60 Second Pitches

14:25 - 14:30 - Close

14:30 - 15:00 Networking and Nibbles

Get to know our speakers!

Blaise Kelly, Senior Air Quality Consultant, Hydrock

Blaise is a Senior Air Quality Consultant at Hydrock, specialising in Air Quality Assessments for planning applications. Prior to living in Bristol, Blaise worked in the Sustainable Buildings and Cities Department of the Austrian Institute of Technology in Vienna. He also has a strong interest in Energy, particularly in modelling the energy of transport systems and how the emissions can be more realistically modelled.

Dr Graham Parkhurst, Professor of Sustainable Mobility and Director of the Centre for Transport & Society, UWE 

Graham has over 25 years’ experience in transport and mobility studies. His current research interests are examining the wider implications of the trends to greater automation, electrification, flexibility and use of digital technologies in the transport sector. In the case of air quality, a key research question concerns the relative emphasis that needs to be placed on technical solutions and changing mobility practices.

Poppy Brett, CEO, Life Cycle UK

Poppy Brett is the Chief Executive of Life Cycle UK, a registered charity that has been working in Bristol to transform lives and the environment through cycling since 1999. Poppy has worked in the voluntary sector championing sustainable initiatives since 1992 and received an Outstanding Award from the Earth Champion Foundation in 2015 for her work. Life Cycle has been awarded two major awards for their work under her leadership including the ‘Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Re-integration’ and the prestigious ‘Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service’.

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