WEBINAR – The Plymouth Green Minds project

For this webinar, the SWEEP Investing in Nature for Health project team welcomed Zoe Sydenham and Jemma Sharman from the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure department at Plymouth City Council.

Zoe and Jemma spoke about the Green Minds project. More than 30% of Plymouth is green or blue infrastructure and these spaces offer opportunities to benefit communities in the city by supporting health and wellbeing, social value, biodiversity, the local economy and climate resilience. However, budget cuts in local government have reduced the resources available to plan and manage these spaces. Green Minds has been funded by Urban Innovative Actions to address these challenges, enabling Plymouth City Council to trial new approaches to delivering a more integrated planning and management system for urban nature and helping maximise the social value created through sustainable land-use management and nature-based solutions. Zoe and Jemma discussed some of the alternative methods being trialled in the Green Minds project, such as collective stewardship, and took part in a Q&A session after the talk.

This webinar is particularly relevant for those with an interest in how investment in the environment can impact public health, from health and social care professionals to local planning authorities.

Recorded: 25 September 2020
Speakers: Zoe Sydenham and Jemma Sharman, Strategic Planning and Infrastructure department, Plymouth City Council
Host: Ben Wheeler, European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, United Kingdom
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What % tree canopy cover do you have now in Plymouth and what are you aiming for? I understand we need 40%+ cover to mitigate urban heat island effect. Will you procure local native trees or introduce ‘climate proof’ species from further south?

Can you provide some examples of responding to community opportunities as they arise? How do you ensure you recognise them, what has changed, what is in place, what was the result?

How are you measuring economic/social impact?

Are the environmental gains/impacts of Covid-19 being overplayed, do you think? Are you capturing much evidence in Plymouth on changed perceptions following/during/after lockdown?

Rather than ‘too much biodiversity’ are there any disbenefits of these schemes? For example, introduction of wetlands in Central Park might increase mosquitos?

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