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GreenSpacesAndUs

Protecting our green open spaces

Green Spaces and Us is all about promoting and supporting social value, providing a shared digital space where people can showcase what they do and can together make a difference by helping to protect their environment.

Launch date: June 2019
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Open spaces
12 Mar 2019 - Laura Creaven
News & Updates

Green Heart Festival Opening Weekend

The University of Birmingham is celebrating the redesigned ‘Green Heart’ area of the campus with a free weekend festival on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June 2019.

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Green Heart Festival Opening Weekend





The University of Birmingham is celebrating the redesigned ‘Green Heart’ area of the campus with a free weekend festival on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June 2019.


The redesigned area of University of Birmingham’s campus, known as the ‘Green Heart’, is the result of two years work redeveloping the area to open up the campus in the way that the Founders imagined it would be.  The new parkland in the centre of the University’s historic campus measures over over 12 acres, providing a multi-use space for performances, events and markets, as well as bringing wild flowers and native plants to campus.

The Green Heart will also open up new pedestrian and cycle routes, allowing students, staff and visitors to move across campus with ease.  This will improve air quality, provide shade and create a place of peace, whilst developing zoned lighting to balance campus safety with minimising light pollution.

The Green Heart Festival Opening Weekend will bring a range of outdoor music performances, with music from University of Birmingham musicians and range of street food and drink on offer.  There will also be the opportunity to explore hands-on exhibits which highlight the recent research from the University.

To read more about University of Birmingham’s Green Heart, visit their website at https://uobgreenheart.com/

And for more information on Green Heart Festival Opening Weekend, visit the University of Birmingham’s website.

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Green travel
06 Mar 2019 - Laura Creaven
News & Updates

Think blue, let cyclists through

Birmingham Connected, part of Birmingham City Council, are asking people to “Think blue, let cyclists through” ahead of new cycle routes opening on the A34 and A38 this year.

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Think blue, let cyclists through





Birmingham Connected, part of Birmingham City Council, are asking people to “Think blue, let cyclists through” ahead of new cycle routes opening on the A34 and A38 this year.


Birmingham Connected, which covers all transport planning activity for the council, are making drivers aware of some new road layouts, ahead of the new cycle routes opening soon on A34 and A38.  The blue surfaced routes show the new cycleways, which are separated from other traffic where possible.  At areas where the blue routes cross central reservations or side roads drivers need to give way to cyclists.

From Monday 25 March planned access changes to Priory Road from Bristol Road will be implemented, where there will be no right turn into Priory Road, whilst travelling out of the city centre.  Travelling into the city there will be no access (left turn and right turn) into Priory Road from Bristol Road. The left turn towards the cricket ground will remain open. Signage will be installed and information will also be provided about alternative routes.

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Green travel
27 Feb 2019 - Laura Creaven
News & Updates

National Walking Summit to take place in Birmingham in March

Living Streets, the UK charity which supports Britons to enjoy the act of walking, are hosting their annual conference in Birmingham on 29 March 2019.

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National Walking Summit to take place in Birmingham in March





Living Streets, the UK charity which supports Britons to enjoy the act of walking, are hosting their annual conference in Birmingham on 29 March 2019.


The charity, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, originally started campaigning to introduce the UK’s first zebra crossing and the introduction of speed limits, aims to get the country walking.

Their annual National Walking Summit, a highlight in the street planning calendar, will bring together leaders, decision-makers and campaigners, to inspire and shape debate on how to create towns and cities that are fitter for walking.

Held at Birmingham’s Council House, the summit will include input from Cllr Ian Ward, Leader, Birmingham City Council; Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands; Christophe Najdovski, Deputy Mayor of Paris for Transport, Travel and Public Space; and a series of lightning talks from grassroots campaigners.

To book a free place at the National Walking Summit, visit the Living Street website at https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/get-involved/walking-summit 

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Air quality
26 Feb 2019 - Laura Creaven
News & Updates

Birmingham City Council Launches Website for Drivers in Birmingham

The website provides information for businesses, particularly self-employed drivers and fleet managers using vehicles in the city, who may be affected by the Clean Air Zone.

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Birmingham City Council Launches Website for Drivers in Birmingham





The website provides information for businesses, particularly self-employed drivers and fleet managers using vehicles in the city, who may be affected by the Clean Air Zone.


Business Breathes provides useful information on low emission vehicles that will comply with the Clean Air Zone requirements, as well as information about where they can be refuelled (or recharged) in and around Birmingham.  

The site also includes information about why the Clean Air Zone is being implemented within Birmingham and which areas it covers.  Users can also find advice and guidance on grants and incentives available for businesses to support them to do their bit to improve Birmingham’s air quality. Taxis, both Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles, can avoid paying the Clean Air Zone charge by switching to a vehicle which meets certain criteria, which are explained on the website.  Each car or van that does not meet the criteria or have approved retrofit technology fitted will incur a daily charge for entering the Clean Air Zone (amount to be confirmed around April 2019). 

Birmingham has a growing network of refuelling options for drivers of low emission vehicles, and the website directs drivers of electric vehicles to charging points, as well as Fleet Refuelling Hubs, dedicated to providing businesses with refuelling.  Drivers of vehicles which require hydrogen, gas or LPG are also pointed to places where they can refuel too.

Business Breathes is part of Birmingham City Council’s overall ‘Brum Breathes’ campaign, which includes the Clean Air Zone, to reduce air pollution in Birmingham, including harmful pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and particle matter in the air.

If you are a self-employed driver, fleet driver or professional driver in Birmingham, please visit https://businessbreathes.co.uk/.

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Photography
23 Feb 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Italian Lakes

A selection of photos from the Italian Lakes (also going over into Switzerland). Lake Garda was an amazing lake to visit with many towns around it. Lake Como was also nice with many towns and places to visit. Lake Maggiore had a palace on an island that you can visit. Lake Lugano goes between Italy and Switzerland. Many of these lakes have ferries and boats that you can go on.

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Italian Lakes





A selection of photos from the Italian Lakes (also going over into Switzerland). Lake Garda was an amazing lake to visit with many towns around it. Lake Como was also nice with many towns and places to visit. Lake Maggiore had a palace on an island that you can visit. Lake Lugano goes between Italy and Switzerland. Many of these lakes have ferries and boats that you can go on.


Lake Garda

The following photos were taken during July 2010 in Northern Italy.

Boats seen from the town of Garda, this was where we were based during that week on Lake Garda. World flags.

Bardolino was not too far from Garda. More boats and more world flags. The visit to this town was on a free day.

Boats seen in the town of Castelletto. That day we went all the way around Lake Garda on the coach and we had certain stops at certain points, to have a look around.

You could get ferries across Lake Garda, and one day we went past Salo on a ferry. A few days later we headed to this town. Boats seen on the coastline. The day of this visit was during the coach tour of Lake Garda. We were following the holiday rep towards the main square in Salo.

The view from the Apponale Tower at Riva del Garda. This town is at the top tip of Lake Garda. The visit during the day of getting the coach all the way around the lake. The cost to go up the tower was €1. In Italian it is called La Torre Apponale. The tower dates to at least 1273 or earlier. It is 34 metres high.

Castello Scaligero is a 13th century castle in the town of Sirmione. It is at the bottom tip of Lake Garda. It was built by the Scaliger family. Construction started in 1277 by Martino della Scala. The town was an important military centre until the 16th century. Sirmione was a part of the Republic of Venice from 1405 until 1797 when the Austrians took over. Sirmione became a part of a unified Italy in 1888. The visit to Sirmione was by a car ferry, a journey which started at Garda, then went over to Salo, then down to Sirmione.

This is one of the views from Castello Scaligero di Malcesine in the town of Malcesine. You get amazing views of Lake Garda from up here. It was built by the Lombards during the middle of the first millennium, and destroyed by the Franks in 590. It was rebuilt by 806. It became property of the Scala family from 1277 until 1387. Over the centuries it has been occupied by various different powers such as the Republic of Venice, later the French and Austrian Empires. The Austrians had it until 1866 when it was handed to the Italians after reunification of Italy. The visit to Malcesine was also on a free day.

The car ferry called Brescia seen arriving at Garda. This was the boat that we travelled over one of the days on Lake Garda. This view below was during our final morning on the lake before we returned to Verona Airport. The usual thing with these holidays is that you have to wait around at the hotel for hours before your coach comes to pick up up to take you back to the airport.

This view from the car ferry we were on was of the hydrofoil boat named Goethe. The day we headed to Gardone Riviera to visit a garden. The boat was probably named after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German writer and statesmen. Goethe was caught doing drawings in Malcesine and was arrested as a spy during his visit in 1786.

Lake Como

The following photos were taken during June 2016 in Northern Italy.

We arrived at Bellagio on a small boat (seen below) from Villa del Balbianello (after a tour of the villa). Was a wet day, but had stopped raining by the time we got to the wonderful town of Bellagio on Lake Como.

Bellagio's splendid architecture seen with Lake Como. Plenty of restaurants and shops here. We got the car ferry Adda later back to our hotel at Cadenabbia from near here.

View of Cadenabbia from the car ferry Adda we travelled on from Bellagio back to our hotel. You can see the dock where the boat will eventually stop. Plenty of hotels and bars along that coastline in Cadenabbia. Many mountains around too!

On our free day, we travelled down to the City of Como on a hydrofoil boat from Tremezzo (after a morning at Villa Carlotta). It was very fast. The boat was named Citta di Como.

Arriving at the City of Como on the hydrofoil boat. Not far from Piazza Cavour. Wonderful historic architecture here. Lots of fountains. Plenty of restaurants and shops. They also have a railway station here. We later left not by boat, but by bus (much slower journey) to return to the hotel at Cadenabbia.

Tremezzo was a short distance away on foot from the hotel in Cadenabbia. Plenty of bars down here. Plus lake side swimming pools! You can also visit Villa Carlotta down here, or get the ferry.

Kept seeing this road train around the towns of Lake Como. The Trombetta Express seen not far from outside of Villa Carlotta near Tremezzo. At this point it was outside of the Oratorio Sommariva (The Sommariva Oratory). While we didn't ride this road train, did days later on a visit to Lugano in Switzerland go on the road train there, while near Lake Lugano.

A visit to Villa Carlotta. It is between Cadenabbia and Tremezzo on Lake Como. It was built for the Milanese marquis Giorgio Clerici in 1690. It was completed in 1745 and remained in the hands of Marquis Clerici until 1795.

Stunning views of Lake Como and the mountains around it from the balcony at Villa Carlotta. Was also some nice gardens to explore during the visit here as well.

A visit to Villa del Balbianello for a guided tour of the villa. I did not take any photos inside (not sure if that was allowed). The villa was built in 1787 on the site of a Franciscan monastery for the Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini. There was wonderful gardens here. On our visit there was a torrential rain storm, so wasn't much chance to fully explore the garden before leaving on the boat to Bellagio.

A few days later on a day with beter sunny weather, got this view of the villa from the hydrofoil boat we got down to the City of Como. Plenty of mountains and trees on both sides of Lake Como.

Lake Maggiore

The following photos were taken during June 2016 in Northern Italy.

A couple of boats on Lake Maggiore seen from the town of Stresa. Earlier that day we had got a boat from Stresa to Isola Bella to visit Borromeo Palace. We didn't go onto Isola Madre like some people did, and instead returned for a look around Stresa in the afternoon.

A road train seen in Stresa.This one was called The TourisTic Tour. From DottoTrains. It was on the Corso Umberto I at the time near the Hotel Milan Au Lac.

A view of Lake Maggiore from the coach heading towards Stresa. Mountains around this lake too!

Isola dei Pescatori seen from the boat on Lake Maggiore. We were heading towards Isola Bella. It's name means Fishermen’s Island. We did not visit that island. There is restaurants on the island providing fish caught by the local fishermen.

Approaching Isola Bella for a visit to the Borromeo Palace. From this view the Teatro Massimo (Theatre Maximum) is seen to the left. The palace and the gardens was well worth a visit, at such a unique location!

Exterior of the Borromeo Palace on Isola Bella after our visit. The entrance was round to the right. It dates to the 17th century and was built by members of the House of Borromeo.

A view of the Teatro Massimo (Theatre Maximum) from the gardens of the palace.

Lake Lugano

The following photos were taken during June 2016 in Switzerland.

The coach journey from Italy into Switzerland along the coast of Lake Lugano. This lake is in both countries. Lots of tall mountains along the way. Was tunnels at the border control.

The approach to the city of Lugano on the coach, with Lake Lugano to the left. Architecture was very Italianette here.

One of the first things we did in Lugano was ride on the Lugano City Tour (road train). They accept Euros or Swiss Francs. A nice tour around this Swiss city. The tour starts near to the Piazza Manzoni. This view from the road train I was on, the Red Arrow. View of the starting point, also where it later ended.

Boats on Lake Lugano seen from the Lugano. Didn't go on a boat trip while we were here though. Went to an art gallery while we were there.

Would assume that you could hire these boats? The walk along the lake front towards a park. They have a lot of nice pieces of public artwork here too. Many of these lakes have small beaches. There was a beach here to the right of this view below.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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