WATCH NAKED BIKE RIDE VIDEO
Having a young population that are prepared to take their clothes off for green growth may be part of the answer
The sun came out for the second World Naked Bike Ride to take place in Bristol (see pictures from 2010 WNBR Bristol here)
The aim of the ride was to raise awareness and respect between all road users - cyclists, cars, lorries, buses and pedestrians - to make all journeys safer and more enjoyable. Judging by the car horns much awareness was raised.
The Naked Bike Ride also carries the ethos of The Bristol Cycling Campaign in mind - which aims to make a car-free city centre, priority cycle routes and a 20mph speed limit.
Alastair Sawday (of Sawdays Guide) recently reflected in a national newspaper on why Bristol is a magnet for green businesses and green people
Next week, tens of thousands of people will come to Bristol's Big Green Week. It seems that the city has become a hotbed for all things environmental, and especially for green entrepreneurs.
Said Mr Sawday "As a businessman who has been living in and working in the city for the last 35 years, I have been pondering over why Bristol is such a magnet for green companies and organisations?"
"The conventional answers are familiar: the city is well educated (over 35% of employees are graduates), our transport links are splendid, we have world-leading companies and the best Quality of Life of any UK city. Our micro-electronics cluster is the UK's biggest, outside London. The BBC has a big presence here. Our two universities are world-class and there are two others nearby in Bath. We have the highest graduate retention rate of any UK city. Businesses recruit here."
"Talented people available for work also provide the creative stimulus needed for a modern city that has to innovate to survive and prosper. There are nearly 1500 media companies in Bristol, most of them small, agile and enterprising. It is also the case that young media entrepreneurs and operators tend to be environmentally aware. Aardman Animations is a classic case of the media enriching the green-ness of a city, as are the Watershed and Arnolfini. Our cultural vitality is extraordinary, too, with an alternative cultural 'scene' that attracts young creatives."
"It is hardly surprising that we are also strong in green business, and green organisations, in general. The latter have perhaps stimulated and prepared the ground for the former. They have created a green constituency. Sustrans, the Soil Association, the City Farms, Forum for the Future, the Schumacher Institute and countless organisations are centred here and attract bright green people. The Environment Agency now has its national HQ in the city centre, and so does Triodos - the UK's only ethical bank. Our politicians and Council now have a clutch of green 'animators' too. There is greater political support than ever, with a Council department devoted to growing the city's sustainability. We are hoping to win the European Green Capital Award this month; we have a local government that sees the opportunities generated by its citizens."
"All that might explain why Bristol is so attractive to green business - but in my view, the real reason lies deeper. It goes back to the quality of life. This is a beautiful city, with the countryside close at hand and the harbour a serene-yet-vital presence at the city's heart. We have swathes of handsome Victorian and Georgian buildings and some impressive modern ones. Bristol is a city of villages and hills, and wherever you go there are views. There are enough cyclists to have earned Bristol the title of Cycling City. Cycling affects the city's sense of itself, its mood, its tolerance, its gaity - even."
"It is Bristol's special mix of assets that make it a compelling place to bring a green business. Our Big Green Week is bold and unique, a great flowering of ideas, enterprise and energy. It is a clear demonstration of our determination to lead the UK in green innovation and enterprise. Take a sympathetic Council (soon to be led by a Mayor), a population that is talented and unstoppable, a renewed localism and the institutions to encourage and further Bristol's green revolution - and you have further fertile ground for a dynamic green business sector."
Alastair Sawday is founder of Sawday's and an ambassador for Big Green Week
Big Green Week happens across Bristol from the 9th - 17th June. Speakers include Dame Vivienne Westwood, Kevin McCloud, Caroline Lucas, Jonathon Porritt, and Deborah Meaden. For the full programme and to buy tickets, please click here
BENEFIT FROM THE VISION GREEN TOURISM SPECIAL OFFER HERE