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One City, One Vision: Ambitious aim to make Inverness carbon neutral and have the lowest air pollution of any Scottish city while making active travel the 'preferred' mode of transport

By Scott Maclennan

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Torvean has the newest parkland area in Inverness. It was created as part of a new road project that also has land for new housing.
Torvean has the newest parkland area in Inverness. It was created as part of a new road project that also has land for new housing.

Inverness 2035 does not shy away from some of the most highly divisive issues in recent years and sets an ambitious target for the city to become carbon neutral – and have the lowest air pollution levels of any Scottish city.

Recent debate over how to make the city more environmentally sustainable – such as the Spaces for People interventions – has been fractious though people on both sides agreed a comprehensive plan was needed.

Inverness 2035 suggests a revolution in travel with cycling, walking and interconnected, green and reliable public transport becoming the preferred modes of transportation.

UN sustainability goals would be incorporated into local public policy so that, at the heart of city planning, all new housing and public buildings would be built with solar or renewable infrastructure as a precondition of consent.

It states: “There will be an extensive programme of investment in active travel and bike infrastructure throughout the entire city area.

“Inverness will have more pedestrians and cyclists than cars travelling along popular routes. Inverness will be Scotland’s cycling city, active travel routes will be well-thought-out (so that) visiting the city centre is a pleasant experience.

“Our local economy will benefit from the increased footfall in the city centre because it will be easy to get to and move around. Public transport will be interconnected, green and reliable, making it a preferred mode of transportation to get around the city.”

Allied closely with a vision to make Inverness carbon-neutral and realise reduced air pollution ambitions is a plan to turn unused city spaces green so “nurturing our nature will be at the heart of Inverness in 2035.”

All unused public spaces would be turned into community assets and supported with funding to create green spaces for parks and allotments where fresh produce can be grown, capitalising on projects such as Edible Inverness.

In keeping with movements across Europe – like Berlin – the city centre would be home to thriving green spaces while parks would be created alongside new housing developments.

Inverness 2035 states: “The city centre will be reimagined to create green spaces in the heart of the city. The city will be home to multiple community allotment areas. Public parks will be created with each new large housing development, along with seating areas.

“Sustainable urban agriculture will form part of public planning and there will be a fund to support urban agriculture projects in and around the city.”

To read the full Inverness 2035 policy document click here

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Exclusive: Ambitious proposals released by MP Drew Hendry to make Inverness environmentally sustainable, family-friendly, culture-rich and economically prosperous

One City, One Vision: MP Drew Hendry argues that Inverness is a 'fabulous city' but to reach its untapped potential big collaborative thinking is needed

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