By Anders Lorenzen
Green Voices is an interview series produced by A greener life, a greener world.
In episode 2 of Green Voices, we speak to Daisy Narayanan, the Director of Urbanism at the sustainable transport charity Sustrans – you can watch the full interview here & embedded below. The mission of Sustrans is to create healthier communities by encouraging people to cycle and walk.
In our talk, we spoke about the general work of Sustrans as well as how the public health emergency of COVID-19 has brought issues such as air pollution, health, the climate emergency and transport into sharp focus, as Narayanan put it herself “it is all coming together in leading us towards what a new future could look like“.
We also discussed the issue of recovery packages and the debate around a ‘green recovery’, about which Narayanan stressed that sustainable transport, walking and cycling must be at the heart of a green recovery. She said it has been heartening to see how UK politicians and local authorities making more space available for walking and cycling but stressed that it was crucial that once the lockdown eventually lifts, people should be able to enjoy the same amount of space for walking and cycling. She stressed that any changes made now must be permanent so people are given the opportunity to keep up the healthy habits they may have started during the lockdown.
Narayanan explained that she feels this crisis has kick-started the debate on what we want our town and cities to look like: “this is a time for reshaping how our cities and lives should be, people are discovering their local gardens and green spaces, it has to shape what greener and healthier futures look like… We can’t go back to what normal was, because normal was a crisis, we have to make sure we create something across the board for the world we want to see and which works for all of us”.
Narayanan explained how Sustrans is currently working with several stakeholders on ‘green recovery plan’ ideas and how heartening it has been to partner with so many organisations in this and how much she is enjoying and the truly collaborative nature of people coming together around positive solutions.
You can see the full interview above and find out more Sustrans here.