The Future Bristol project seeks to understand how the general public perceives, comprehends and engages with the notion of Bristol as a low carbon city in 2050, through the use of eye-catching digital and creative media and an online discussion platform. The intention is that the project will raise awareness of the mitigation and adaptation options and pathways the city could take in response to climate change, determine acceptability of these different low carbon options and activities, and gather new ideas about climate responses. This will enable the city to better prepare publicly acceptable responses to climate change. It will also improve understanding of public engagement on the concepts of ‘low carbon futures’ and ‘resilient futures’ by different groups within the city, to improve future climate information formulation and communication channels. The concept and approach are both practical, outcome oriented, robust and transparent, and the project has already generated significant international interest as a method of communicating complex climate issues.

The two scenarios on the website were developed through an iterative consultation process with key stakeholders, in an EPSRC CASE funded PhD by Dr Rose Bailey at the University of the West of England, Bristol, completed in June 2012. The Future Bristol project began in May 2012 thanks to an award from the Institution of Environmental Sciences and support from the Bristol Green Capital Partnership, as part of the city’s bid to be the 2015 European Green Capital. The project is still on-going and the ‘Future Bristol’ digital resources will be developed further over during 2013-14.

Objectives and beneficiaries

Bristol citizens.

Strong points of the practice

It aims to increase the quality of life of Bristol Citizens. Moreover the project has an interactive and user-friendly platform to make its objectives easy to be understood by everyone.

It asks for citizens participation through the submission of ideas.

Expected results and benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation

This project seeks to engage the public in what it means for Bristol to be a "low carbon city", enabling everyone to have their say and help shape the future that we want to see. The aims are to:
• Engage the public and raise awareness about what a low carbon future means
• Find out how people feel about two different potential futures, which features are desirable and which we want to avoid
• Start a public discussion about how Bristol can become a low carbon city, and gather opinions, thoughts and new ideas

Replicability potential of the practice