Rebuilding a more sustainable and robust society than the one we put on hold early in 2020 will take vision and courage. The decisions we make today will shape our world of tomorrow.
There are lessons we can take from the COVID-19 crisis that can inform and inspire our response to the other great crisis of our time - the climate emergency.
We wanted to know what life might look like in our towns and cities if we cut traffic and active travel became the default? How might our efforts to live, work, shop and play more locally lead to a more community-focused way of being? Will renewable energy generation and decarbonised homes result in us sharing energy across our neighbourhoods? How will our democratic institutions reflect our sustainable way of life? What industries might we build, what jobs would we do and what skills would we learn in order to do them? How might nature bloom across our wild and urban landscapes alike?
Towards the end of 2020, we worked with a range of people from across industry, environment and community groups, to conduct future-thinking workshops and to create shared visions of what life might look like in our towns, cities and greenspaces in a fictional future Scotland where these decisions had already been made and action taken.
We have called these shared visions of a sustainable Scotland “This Must Be The Place”.
What we have created isn’t intended to be a definitive answer to those questions, or a roadmap to get there.
And to use that vision to inspire each other to act with the collective determination we know we will need to meet this great challenge.
Nothing in this shared vision is unrealistic or beyond the scope. The technologies exist. Now is the time and This Must Be The Place to make this future a reality.
We will be acting on these ideas through our new Strategy. The Scotland team will use this shared vision as a launching off point for our work in the areas of a Fairer Start, a Healthy Life and a Sustainable Future.
Focusing on how we decarbonise domestic heating - a particularly complex area of work which crosses over industry, technology policy and legislation as well as individual user behaviours - we will be using data-science and behavioural insights and long-term innovation partnerships to look to shift the systems as a whole.
To talk to us about this project or our work on a Sustainable Future, and to share your visions of a sustainable Scotland, contact us at [email protected].
Thank you to everyone whose ideas and vision helped shape this project:
- Jamie Brogan, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation
- Josiah Lockhart, Firstport
- Daisy Ford-Downes, Zebras Unite / Ventures Lab
- Helen Teeling, Glasgow City of Science and Innovation
- John Fitzgerald, SCVO
- Julie Proctor, GreenSpace Scotland
- Jo Pike, Scottish Wildlife Trust
- Pippa Coutts, Carnegie UK Trust
- Douglas Morrison, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre
- Douglas Peedle, Scottish Wildlife Trust
- Catriona Patterson, Creative Carbon Scotland
- Chris Creegan
- Eleanor Tucker
- Rachel Cowper, Inspiring Scotland
- Dr Siobhán Jordan, Interface
- Donagh Horgan, The Institute for Future Cities
- Diane Harbison, The Data Lab
- Theresa Swayne, Highlands and Islands Enterprise