How to square the circle ?

The NWRDA has produced the first part of the draft Regional Strtegy RS2010.

They have set out an interesting challenge:

“Therefore we are clear that over the next twenty
years this region must:

  • capitalise on the opportunities of moving to a lowcarbon

economy and address climate change

  • build on our sources of international competitive

advantage and regional distinctiveness

  • release the potential of our people and

tackle poverty

  • ensure the right housing and infrastructure for

sustainable growth.

We must tackle all these, however, in a period
when less public expenditure will be available.”

A tricky pancake indeed!  Some of us think that the second of these – this idea of international competitiveness is incompatible with the others.  Indeed that is one of the key ideas of this bioregional green deal project – strategic localism rather than strategic globalism (see our glossary.  We also aren’t at all sure that ‘sustainable growth’ is anything more than a contradiction.

Unfortunately the paper gets worse the more you go into it.  It uses the sustainability language, but with no depth of understanding as to what this might mean – it is playing at sustainability – fiddling in effect while the planet burns.

But let’s give it a thorough read and join in the consultation.   We know they mean well, we need to help them come up with a workable strategy not a fantasy.

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