Whatever happened to those eco towns?

One of them — North West Bicester, has just been awarded One Planet Living status.

Here’s the NW Bicester Action Plan to 2020

And this is what they’re planning on the “local, sustainable food” front:

Promoting on-site food growing

o 0.5ha area of allotments provided for residents

o Edible fruit tree provided in every garden and free vegetable seeds with each welcome pack

o Establish two community orchards

o Edible planting integrated into the landscaping plan; to include fruit trees and bushes, herbs and edible plants. Tours offered to residents highlighting edible plants and their uses

o Communal composting site established for allotments Building a culture of valuing fresh, local produce

o Healthy, seasonal food to be offered during construction through site canteen

o Aspire to provide cookery classes in café or eco pub

o Promote sustainable food sources via Shimmy

o A2Dominion to work with local groups to build culture towards 100% composting of food waste, and scrumping, establishing an ‘Abundance Project’

o Establish a central collection point for veg box deliveries and community buying deliveries

Promote home cooking and communal feasting

o Kitchens designed to encourage home cooking. Free ‘cook seasonal’ recipe book on Shimmy

o Built in BBQs in communal areas to promote parties / feasts

o Encourage festivals and seasonal food fairs

Local, sustainably produced food accessible to all

o Sustainable/local sourcing of food covenants to be written into tenancy agreements for all food outlets

o Establish a regular local farmers market

o Promote and offer incentives to buy local, organic veg boxes prior to the Coop store opening on the Exemplar

o Eco pub/ cafe to offer fresh and locally sourced high quality food, with aspiration to provide training opportunities for chefs

o Investigate the value of using fixed targets, (E.g. 40% of food sold on site to be locally sourced within 50miles / organic and/or Fairtrade)

Education and raising awareness about the ecological impact of food

o A2Dominion / LMO to work with primary school to establish ‘kids allotments’ and education programmes around food

o Coop and community centre to disseminate information on the impact of food and the benefits of sourcing local, seasonal, sustainably sourced produce

o The LMO and Green Champions to promote healthier, lower impact diets, through events such as ‘veggie days’ and general awareness raising

The announcement was made on November 22 2013:

“The first, exemplar phase of the North West Bicester eco town development has been awarded One Planet Living status, one of only six developments in the world to achieve this benchmark.

One Planet Living is a coveted mark which confirms the project as making a sustainable future a reality today.

Globally we are consuming resources and polluting the planet at a level 40 per cent higher than the earth can renew or absorb. One Planet Living is a framework of ten principles designed by BioRegional to ensure people everywhere can enjoy a high quality of life within the resource capacity of our one planet.

Developer, A2Dominion, has committed to working to this framework in an action plan to create a One Planet Community within NW Bicester.

It will ensure the new community achieves dramatic reductions in waste, pollution and climate-changing carbon emissions compared to conventional new development, while boosting health, happiness and wildlife-rich green surroundings for its residents.

The NW Bicester development was highlighted earlier this year at Rio+20, the environmental summit attended by the World’s leaders, along with other One Planet Communities such as One Brighton, Petite Rivière in Montreal, Jinshan in China and Mata de Sesimbra in Portugal.”

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