On Friday 1 October a new exhibition “Green in the City” opened at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6ER.
The interactive exhibition explores the challenges that climate change will bring to cities and towns, and how the organisations involved in Corridor Manchester are working together to find solutions for Manchester. It also encourages local residents to take up the challenge in their own homes, gardens and streets.
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Executive Member for the Environment, Manchester City Council said: “Climate change is a reality everyone in Manchester needs to face, and is a key priority for the City. Only through working together with scientists, research companies, businesses and residents will we be able to ensure we are prepared for the future. The Green in the City exhibition helps explain how and why we are all working together and importantly will help our residents get involved and do their bit too.”
Visitors to the exhibition will learn how climate change may impact on Manchester – short periods of extreme heat in the summer, winters becoming much wetter and a greater frequency of storms – all of which can lead to a poorer quality of life and health for residents. There is also an economic cost to the City of £21 billion by 2020, as identified in the Manchester: A Certain Future published last year, if steps aren’t taken now to address the problem.
The exhibition highlights the work already happening on the Corridor (the Oxford Road area of Manchester) which aims to make the area an open laboratory for scientists from Manchester’s universities to work together with research companies to develop, test, experiment and measure the impact of initiatives to tackle reality of climate change.
Professor John Brooks, chair, Corridor Manchester said: “The two universities and hospital trust have long and successful histories of stimulating new ideas and changing ways of thinking. The Corridor enables these institutions to face the problems of climate change together, and this exhibition shows how our joint efforts are starting to mobilise the public and make a real difference.”
There are a number of scientific studies underway on the Corridor, supported by all the partners, including i-trees – a series of nine plots gathering quantitative data to compare the impact of trees and green space with asphalt on temperature and rain water runoff – a cause of flash flooding, and several retro-fitted green roofs that are testing the effects of different types of natural covering on a variety of issues such as the amount of heat escaping from buildings and attracting wild life into the City. These are all highlighted at the exhibition.
It is not just scientists, businesses and large institutions that can help. Manchester residents can also do their bit and the exhibition offers some simple and cheap ideas. The exhibition provides residents with information on how they can get involved in a range of projects from planting trees on their street to helping make their local park a better place for people and wildlife.
Visitors will also be able to ‘green’ Manchester’s streets using interactive software and see the creation of the Whitworth Art Gallery’s Green Roof through a two minute super speed film of the five-day installation.
Organised by Corridor Manchester in conjunction with Red Rose Forest and Manchester City Council, the exhibition will stay at the Whitworth Art Gallery until 10 October. It will then visit the following locations:
18 – 22 October: Geoffrey Manton Building, All Saints, Manchester Metropolitan University
23 – 29 October: Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, as part of the Manchester Science Festival
15 – 20 November: Royal Northern College of Music
1st – 4th December: MERCi (Manchester Environmental Resource Centre initiative)
The exhibition has been commissioned by Corridor Manchester, Manchester City Council and Red Rose Forest. It is funded by Manchester City Council’s Carbon Innovation Fund and the European Union’s INTERREG IVb Fund. It is designed by Eskimo Creative.