This section of the report details how the city should be working towards of combating climate change, in the process creating low emission, highly efficient energy and having the opportunity to sell knowledge to other parties.
About the 'Learning City' vision
The ‘Learning City’ vision would see Sheffield use its unique capabilities and resources to collaborate with its residents and others to continue its research and development, learning more and more to gear itself towards a more ecological future. The commission hopes that Sheffield would commit itself to continuously learning how to make itself a ‘smart, sustainable future city’.
It is hoped that Sheffield’s civil society – businesses, organisations, individuals – would come together, across all sectors, and contribute to a common goal of a sustainable city. It would keep a continuous dialogue between local partners and both regional and national experts to make the best and most well-informed decisions pertaining to local ecological needs. This collaboration would extend to other UK and European cities, sharing information and connecting for collective action against climate change, focused on reduction of CO² emissions.
The report suggests that Sheffield takes evidence-based plans of action, sticking to the ‘tried-and-tested’ solutions based on similar reports from other cities, whilst also becoming a beacon and good example for other cities in their move towards sustainability. It also infers that Sheffield should be moving more towards a digital transformation, and systems based more on resource efficiency.
A key hope for the city is that its mixed-economy system will lead to greater sustainability as well as economic strength. By trading on knowledge and key understanding of sustainability, the city can become competitive and successful as well as environmentally friendly.
A key recommendation is that Sheffield should build on it's major city status, marketing itself to the brightest talent as an attractive place to live and work, helping the city as a whole get ahead of the curve and perpetually attract more and more talented individuals to the city.
The city has already made some key progress in this area since the publication of this report. A new £10 million Centre for Climate Change Mitigation has been developed by the University of Sheffield, recognising the potential of the city as a centre for advanced research. With the city’s proud industrial heritage, it is seen as a leading centre for innovations in engineering and design.
The city has strong sustainability credentials, such as the first Business Improvement District which focuses on flood management, and the Advanced Manufacturing Park, which has a hydrogen mini-grid for energy storage and fuel. Its proximity to the Peak District and its image as an ‘outdoor city’ gives it a unique ‘outdoor economy’, which has the potential to grow businesses and attract bright talent.