Hello Nottingham, a partnership project between Nottingham City Council and the University of Nottingham, has launched this week which will allow people in the city to talk to lamp posts, bins, park benches and more about climate change. Signs have been installed across the city for this new scheme to gather views on what climate change means for Nottingham.
The team has joined forces with creative research company, Hello Lamp Post, to introduce a playful and interactive tool to find out what people think about climate change and the city’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2028.
The year-long project has been financed by Digital Nottingham – a university initiative that uses data science, technology and innovation to solve local challenges, and promote growth in the city. The launch of the scheme has been timed to coincide with COP27 – a global conference where world leaders will discuss how to effectively tackle the climate crisis.
Anyone in the city can interact with the signs by scanning a QR code or texting the number shown. This will prompt a two-way conversation where they’ll be able to share their views, find out what’s happening in the city to tackle climate change, and find out how to get involved.
The Hello Nottingham project aims to raise awareness of the climate crisis and gather views from the people of Nottingham via a non-traditional consultation route. The information collected through the scheme will be used to understand the public’s attitudes and behaviours and will inform how Nottingham City Council engages with the public on the topic of climate change.
Councillor Sally Longford, Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment and Waste Services at Nottingham City Council, said: “A big part of our mission to become a carbon neutral city by 2028 involves getting everyone involved to reduce their carbon footprints where they can. I’m delighted that, through a collaboration with the University of Nottingham, we’re using Hello Lamp Post to have conversations with people in Nottingham about why tackling the climate crisis is critical to our future.
“Our target covers the emissions produced by the whole city, so we want to find out what matters to people and find ways we can support them to make changes. I hope that you’ll stop to say “Ey-up” if you see one of the signs when you’re out and about!”
Helen Kennedy, Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries at the University of Nottingham, said: “This playful and collaboratively designed furniture provides an unrivalled mechanism to have a sustained conversation with the city about current behaviours and attitudes towards climate change.
“The launch of this local conversation is particularly timed to coincide with COP27 so that it can benefit from, and contribute to, wider national and international discussions about climate action. Play is an incredibly powerful and unifying means of interacting with a diversity of audiences and it is particularly useful in providing a platform for engaging with complexity. The insights gathered from this project will be significant in shaping future research priorities and wider public engagement practices.”
Wayne Bexton, Director of Environment and Sustainability at Nottingham City Council, said: “This campaign and collaboration with the University, will enable people to let us know their views on climate change in a quick and easy way whilst they are out and about. It is so important we engage with our residents in different ways and we’re hopeful the Hello Lamp Post initiative will spark some great conversations and help to shape our work to achieve carbon neutrality.”