We strive to develop healthy relationships between the natural and built environments, where individuals and communities thrive through a sense of personal and public wellbeing.

Cross Sector Collaboration:
Learning from Emergencies

A recent paper, published by Ipsos Green Economy, drew together from a range of researchers, their views on key challenges in responding to climate change and the opportunities changes to finance, technology, food production and consumption, and culture offer as a result of climate-response strategies. The paper noted a variable level of resistance to change across countries and drew a comparison with our attitudes to COVID-19. 

Ann Stevenson, a climate change and circular economy researcher at Cardiff University, argues that the ‘climate emergency’ is not felt as deeply in western established nations. She said: “With COVID-19, it’s your neighbour, it’s somebody in your family, it’s a real threat. Climate change is still seen as something a long way away and nothing to do with ‘me’.”

As the pandemic rolls on, it is evident to this writer, however, that attitudes to climate change in this country are shifting, as is the thinking around a green economy, and there is a growing desire for a new way of thinking as people draw their own conclusions from life during lockdown.

The Ipsos paper describes five measures that could inform and accelerate a collaborative and shared move to a green economy; specifically learning coming from the covid emergency:

  • A need to listen to experts
  • Preventative measures are as important as a mitigated response
  • Society must come together to support the most vulnerable
  • Cross-sector collaboration is paramount to success
  • The public needs clear, tangible communications and direction 

Contemplating the dual threats of climate and covid emergencies can be overwhelming and appear insurmountable, yet there is way forward through commitment, collaboration, and connecting with each other. The more compelling way of developing a shared way of living with climate change is not to focus on the negative effects of temperature rises or the effects on current business models, personal  lifestyle and so forth,  but instead to adopt long-term, inter-generational thinking, to grasp the opportunities for business, leisure, building, transport, water and the natural environment– in other words, to design new ways forward. Chow:Hill is excited to engage in the design process and be part of that movement.

Credits: ‘Now what? Climate Change & Coronavirus’ Authored by Jessica Long, Lizzie Gordon, RuthTownsend, 2020.