Affordable housing for young people, meadows on Perth’s North and South Inches and a traffic free city centre were all on the table on Friday as hundreds of policy influencers debated the city’s sustainability future.
Delegates heaped praise on Dundee students who prepared a glimpse into what Perth could look like in 20 years as planners and traders from around Europe met to discuss the Fair City’s future.
Traders, planners, council bosses and charities took part in the Perth City Leadership Forum event.
It was the second instalment of the Sustainable Perth Conference, focusing on raising ambition with workshops on food and environment, placemaking innovation and imagination along with motivating city leadership.
Organisers say the digital conference, co-hosted by the Perth-based Royal Scottish Geographical Society, inspired 300 delegates, including representatives from cities, such as Copenagen, Belgium’s Ghent and the Finnish town of Ii.
A traffic-free city centre, local waste-to-energy schemes, community gardens and urban farming, wild flower meadows on the Inches, affordable small housing for young people, and promoting nearby outdoor recreation were all on the agenda.
Ideas also included mountain biking tracks on Kinnoull Hill, and tree planting on major arterial routes.
Leena Vuotovesi, CEO of development company Micropolis LTD in Li, considered to be the most sustainable town in Europe, said: “Only by being ambitious will you take everybody along.
“I think that the main thing is to make the decision to just do it.”
Mike Robinson, Chairman of the City Leadership Forum and Chief Executive of RSGS, said: “Both days were relentlessly optimistic – very much about what we could achieve if, rather than focusing on why we can’t.
“Perth has a wonderful quality of environment and most of us who live here really value that environment. By building on that natural strength there is a real opportunity to build a reputation for leading in this vital arena and to attract business and people who want to play a part in this positive and far-sighted agenda.
“Coronavirus has pulled us apart socially – often quite literally. Sustainability is a chance to bring people together, to break down sectoral barriers, and all play a role in making Perth the best place to grow up, live and work in Scotland, the UK and even Europe.”
Perth City Leadership Forum will compile the findings and results of the workshops in 2021.