Brighton Council has won plaudits for a scheme which encourages people to grow their own food.
The World Green Building Council’s Government Leadership Awards go to local governments that have shown leadership in sustainable building policies. Praiseworthy projects were unveiled at the UN’s COP19 climate change conference in Warsaw.
Brighton was given an honourable mention for its planning guidance which highlights opportunities for DIY farming in buildings – on rooftops, balconies and walls.
Known as the Food Growing Planning Advice Note (PAN), it is handed out when planning applications are made – 3,000 times a year in the city. Launched in 2011 in partnership with the charity Food Matters, it is claimed to be the first of its kind in England.
The scheme has been met with a surprising amount of enthusiasm, with more than a third (38%) of approved new-build planning applications – both commercial and residential – proposing to include food growing facilities.
Jason Kitcat, Brighton & Hove City Council Leader said: “Food growing helps reduce the city’s carbon footprint and producing food on our doorstep has the potential to result in a massive reduction in food miles. Growing food locally increases biodiversity, creates a greener urban landscape and really can promote a greater sense of well-being.”
Winners of the main awards included Vancouver, which took the Best Green Building Policy gong for its Greenest City 2020 Action Plan and Abu Dhabi, which took home the Regional Leadership Award for its Estidama Pearl Rating System that brought mandatory sustainability regulations to the city for the first time.