Climate: Challenging convention and delivering change

In March 2021 we published our Climate Change Manifesto. Paul Fong, Ridge LLP, explains why, and discusses how climate change has influenced every aspect of Sharpness Vale’s design.

The effects of climate change are rapidly affecting our world, creating an increased number of extreme weather events. We will need to address climate change in everything that we do to slow the rapidly increasing temperatures across the globe. If we continue to burn fossil fuels, release greenhouse gases and cut down forests, the planet could warm by more than 4°C by 2100. This warming could fundamentally change life on earth, with potentially dramatic consequences. We have already begun to experience an increase of extreme weather events as a result of climate change. It is now an imperative to cut greenhouse gas emissions by moving away from the burning of fossil fuels and making a switch to renewable energy sources to stabilise and effectively reduce the effects of climate change.

The most crucial step now is to make big and rapid reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. There are many different ways this can be done, and the development industry has a responsibility to engineer these changes in all future developments. New development has a role to play in slowing down climate change, and, where possible to help existing communities to do so too. It is now important that we engineer change in human behaviour so that the way we live and work in the future has a significantly reduced impact on global warming.

We published our Climate Change Manifesto in March to demonstrate our commitment to deliver sustainable development in a direct attempt to tackle the climate emergency A truly sustainable development can only be created with the implementation of a well thought out and comprehensive green infrastructure at the heart of the development. It is difficult and expensive to retrofit a sustainable framework into existing development simply because older developments are of their time and not designed to embrace the modern technologies and transport systems needed to deliver transformational change necessary to reduce climate change.

Sharpness Vale has had the Climate Change Agenda at the heart of its design and has influenced every aspect of the masterplan and design. Sharpness Vale has been designed to challenge convention and deliver transformational change, within a viable development, that will be delivered by reputable developers who are passionate about creating resilient, sustainable, and happy communities for the future. And wherever we can, we are extending sustainable features to the existing communities – this is especially true of our sustainable transport network and systems.

The key principles of the design of Sharpness Vale have been to:

  • Ensure that the development is free from fossil fuels;
  • We have the opportunity within the development to travel less in everything we do, and where there is a need to travel, it can be done sustainably;
  • All new buildings are efficient with regard to energy and heat so that they consume less throughout the year;
  • There is less waste from the community and there are green veins created throughout the development that absorb carbon and create bio-diversity enhancements The Sharpness Vale development can help slow down global warming, simply by changing the way we do things, challenging convention and delivering transformational change.