Friday was a good day. We asked for more action not words and it was amazing to see how many people responded to Greta Thunberg’s call to join the climate strike. Globally, it was estimated that 4 million people took part with over 2,500 events in over 163 countries on all seven continents. In the UK, Architype staff were out in force with the UK Green Building Council in London, and rallies in Bristol, Edinburgh, Hereford, Brighton, Malvern, Tunbridge Wells, and my own home town of Cheltenham.
I was extremely surprised and immensely happy about the turn out in Cheltenham, which is best known for the horse racing Gold Cup and its Georgian architecture. Not only was there a big turn out but also a very diverse group of people, young children, students, climate veterans, and everyday people.
The atmosphere was overwhelmingly positive with excitement about how we could all work together to save our world. The march from the university campus to the municipal offices was thankfully short as my three month old puppy had decided he didn’t want to walk that far.
At the protest politicians talked to the crowds about unity and working harder to get where we needed to go. We hope action now follows.
The highlight was at 1pm when students from Cheltenham Ladies’ College arrived. Bringing a strong message of standing up for their future and a big wave of energy, even the teachers were waving signs and singing along to the chants. Their participation had a big effect on those not participating with many people coming over and asking what was going on.
As passionate campaigners for reducing carbon emissions and creating eco buildings, we are excited by the momentum gained from the strikes. We are already using future climate data in building design and can see how real and urgent this issue has become.
Architype will be looking at how we can continue to reduce environmental impacts – including taking Passivhaus to Passivhaus Plus, targeting EnerPHit for retrofit buildings, achieving net zero carbon buildings and joining AJ’s RetroFirst campaign. It’s all about the actions.
What can you do?