Leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, to open sustainability exhibition

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, will open a new University of Salford exhibition this week that invites the public, researchers and community organisations to suggest ways to make Greater Manchester more sustainable.

The event on Friday 2 November is being held as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 3-10 November 2012.

Featuring interactive exhibits, a speakers’ corner and a panel debate from sustainability leaders, Sustainable Stories will draw on the latest and community views and also research funded by Mistra Urban Futures, which will form a blueprint for an inclusive, sustainable city. The event will be opened by Sir Richard and University of Salford vice-chancellor, professor Martin Hall, at 12.30pm.

Following the opening there will be a panel discussion from 2.00-4.00 which will include Alison Surtees (Creative Industries in Salford), Raichael Locke (Manchester Environmental Education Network), Steve Connor (Creative Concern), Kerenza McClarnan (Buddleia arts commissioning group) and Wilson Nkurunziza (Community Researcher, Salford Forum for Refugees and Asylum Seekers). Alongside academics from the University of Salford, panellists will debate new research and the themes of ‘fair’, ‘green’ and ‘dense’ cities.

During the main exhibition, which runs at the CUBE Gallery in Manchester until 6 November, visitors’ ideas will be interpreted by artists from Visual Minutes who will gradually fill up three blank walls which relate to the central themes. Representatives of organisations interested in sustainability will also take part in a special Speakers’ Corner event during the course of 3 and 4 November.

There will also be displays bringing together findings and ideas from the university and community researchers which deal with how to reduce carbon emissions, make society more inclusive and improve urban environments.

The exhibition stems from work conducted by Salford’s Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures (SURF). Dr Beth Perry from SURF said: “Sustainable Stories is a chance to debate some of the fundamental issues facing urban areas today. We want to get people speaking to each other and contributing to the discussion through art, debate and viewing exhibits.

“The fact that the leader of the City Council has endorsed the event shows how seriously these issues are being taken at senior levels in Greater Manchester.”

Sustainable Stories is funded by Mistra Urban Futures and ESRC Festival of Social Science and organised by the University of Salford's Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures. Members of the public who wish to book a place at the launch and workshop should contact Vicky Simpson on v.simpson@salford.ac.uk