“Think The Centre for Alternative Technology (renewables research and education presented as a visitor attraction*), powering The Biospherics Foundation (innovative closed-loop food, timber and other products), set in a picturesque, flood-resistant post industrial park like Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek – with enhanced community facilities, new jobs, recreational amenities and a green transport corridor” Tom Bliss – email@example.com
*CAT are now in fact involved, as partners with the two main universities in Leeds and KVDT in the Sustain project
Kirkstall Valley, with its iconic Abbey, historic mills, listed Humphrey Repton park, river, canal, museums, golf courses, nature reserves and green spaces, is one of the major underdeveloped assets of Leeds. And over the years many have suggested ways that it could be sustainably linked, enhanced, protected, cleaned and greened-up, for the benefit of local communities and the city at large.
Following approaches from Kirkstall Valley Park (KVP) to Feed Leeds, and co-incidental approaches by potential eco-food businesses to Leeds Beckett University, Tom Bliss (of both organisations and UoL), and Architectural Engineering tutor Petros Tsitnidis, set a challenge to their Brazilian 2015 Summer School interns from the Science Without Borders (SwB) exchange programme: Could the existing aspirations of KVP and like-minded client groups be furthered and even realised by the establishment of an Eco Education Park in Kirkstall – one galvanised by investment in innovative closed-loop food and associated micro generation schemes?
This is what the team came up with:
A major new city park where the usual (and already planned – by KVP) public amenities are enabled and enhanced by educational, research-focused visitor attractions, sustainable product outlets (delivering jobs and revenue for Leeds), and improved community facilities
A collection of businesses, city / community services, and community enterprises
each operating independently, but with maximum co-operation for optimal internal recycling
Used by both park and partnership to express a joint commitment to closed loop, low carbon research, education and enterprise – and to drive sales
(The Summer School proposals from August 2015 appear below – here)