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Three new cities have joined Oxfordshire County Council in taking part in Bioregional’s new One Planet Cities initiative, which aims to help cities and city-regions grow sustainably and boost health and happiness for their residents

Oxfordshire County Council signed up to take part in our new initiative in March. The cities and city-regions joining Oxfordshire are: Saanich in Canada; Durban in South Africa; and Elsinore municipality in Denmark. Each will create a sustainability action plan designed to help them move towards a greener, healthier future, where everyone enjoys a good quality of life.

A ‘delivery partner’ will work with each local authority (or in Durban, with a citizen-led coalition) to invite 24 local organisations to come together to create this ‘One Planet’ action plan. These organisations will include businesses, schools and community groups, which will also write their own One Planet action plans to help support the wider vision.  

Pooran Desai OBE, Co-founder of Bioregional says: “We all know that we need to be living more sustainably, and that everyone wants healthier, greener and happier places to live. Our work with these cities will show how sustainability and increasing happiness are not at odds, but that we can have both. Using our One Planet Living® framework, these cities are set to become models of positive sustainable change that the rest of the world can learn from. We can’t wait to see what they achieve.”

Sharon Hvozdanski, Director of Planning, District of Saanich says: “In 2017, to make our community more sustainable and resilient, the council committed to updating Saanich’s Climate Plan to become a 100% Renewable Energy Community by 2050.  Working with the One Planet Cities project will support Saanich’s work on climate change and enable community members such as businesses, schools and resident groups to identify their own actions to help improve their health, happiness and our collective ability to achieve One Planet Living.” 

Karen Marie Pagh Nielsen, head of The Climate Secretariat, Municipality of Elsinore says: “The One Planet Cities project fits very well with our efforts to integrate sustainability in everything we do, including our overall planning for Elsinore. We are currently in the process of making a new vision for the municipality, which will link with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I hope the dialogue between the four cities and city-regions can provide inspiration and ideas for new activities, and how to involve the local society on these important tasks.”

Councillor Yvonne Constance from Oxfordshire County Council said “I am excited about this project which will help to highlight and connect all the work going on across our county on this important issue. The framework highlights the importance of economic, social and environmental sustainability.”

Rudi Kimmie, Manager of the Hub for the African City of the Future (AfriHUb) at the University of KwaZulu Natal, in Durban says, “One Planet; One People; One Destiny is the mantra that drives the vision at AfriHub, and sustainability is the essence that underpins it all.  The One Planet Cities project will assist in articulating ‘sustainability’ from a broad perspective to inspire people and organisations in Durban to create holistic and positive change.”

The One Planet Cities project is funded by the KR Foundation. Bioregional is creating an international network of cities and communities all working to accelerate the change needed to achieve happy and prosperous lives for all within the limits of our one planet.

Photo caption: The One Planet Cities project will build on existing sustainability work like Rose Hill community centre which has 60kW of solar panels funded by Oxford City Council. This was also supported by Project ERIC, which helped install four Moixa smart batteries and an electric car club car at the community centre.

Find out more – www.bioregional.com/one-planet-cities