Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Planet Bristol: Peter Madden: green city, green stadium...

Keep up Peter Madden, keep up Forum for the Future - I've been putting this idea to Bristol City FC since the beginning of the consultation process on stadium designs! And I've given them the same examples. If I was involved in talks between Bristol City and the Town Green supporters in Ashton Vale a first class stadium built to the very highest sustainable, green design standards would be something I would want to see on offer. I'd also like to see some guarantees about keeping the surrounding area green and on no further developments in this area. There are always going to be issues about why any green land at all should be taken up - and also the poor transport links in the location proposed BUT as I've said before the offer of a top notch green stadium design and surroundings would be some compensation and would certainly have its attractions for me. Having said all this I'm not someone who lives in Ashton Vale.

Planet Bristol: Peter Madden

So, what of this could a new stadium incorporate? Open green space – if not for grazing livestock, then at least for walking dogs, running and playing, or free events.

Could the stadium make a positive environmental contribution? Could it be carbon neutral, through generating its own clean energy? Could it enhance biodiversity, through areas protected for wildlife and a 'green roof' with plants growing on it? Could traffic problems be lessened by making tickets cheaper if people walk or use the park and ride?

There are educational possibilities, too. If it was a state-of-the-art environmental stadium, facilities could be used to engage City supporters and other Bristolians – as well as visiting fans – on green issues, further multiplying the positive impacts.

Other clubs are doing this. Ipswich Town went carbon neutral. And lowly Dartford FC built the UK's first sustainable stadium from renewable timber with a grass roof and sunk two metres below ground level to reduce noise and light pollution.

So, why shouldn't Bristol have the greenest major football stadium in the country, a beautiful building that shows what can be done, is useful to the local community as well as the fans, which provides the benefits of a village green and has a zero environmental footprint?

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