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C-Change European Week of Regions and Cities Workshop

Edited on

30 November 2020
Read time: 10 minutes

The 18th European week of Regions and Cities drew to a close last month with this year's event being the first ever event to be delivered fully online. The numbers for the event were staggering with 20,000+ participants, 1000+ speakers and 500+ sessions. The C-Change network was pleased to be chosen to host a workshop for one of those sessions.

Driving Climate Action in Cities

Driving Climate Action in Cities was the theme of the workshop presented by Grainne Bradley, Simon Curtis, Emanuele Salmin and Claire Buckley, all of whom are part of the C-Change network. The C-Change network is an URBACT good practice transfer project made up of 6 cities led by Manchester. The good practice is based on the Manchester Arts and Sustainability Team’ approach demonstrating how other cities can work with their arts and culture sector to drive climate action and reduce emissions. The key message from the workshop was that the arts and culture sector has a role to play in climate action in cities. The aim of this workshop was to highlight the Manchester good practice being transferred as part of C-Change. The good practice is based on the Manchester Arts and Sustainability Team’ approach demonstrating how other cities can work with their arts and culture sector to drive climate action and reduce emissions.

The workshop drew upon the learning that have come out of the C-Change project, looking at how the arts and culture sector can lead on climate action and engagement in cities and how cities can support this process. Specifically, it covered the impact of this way of working in Manchester and how the city of Mantova is replicating this model in. re are lots of tools available to support cities, organisations and citizens on their climate action journey. The most influential tool used by the C-change network was Carbon Literacy training. C-Change partners received Carbon Literacy training as part of their study visit to Manchester and have since delivered this to city colleagues and arts and culture sector representatives in their cities. This has been a powerful tool to build knowledge and generate action within organisations. Partners have also had access to a series of sustainable event guides produced by the Manchester City Council events team (link below)

Emanuele Salmin advised that as a transfer city, “C-Change has taught us how to use an integrated approach. You are seeing the cultural and environmental departments working together every day to try and find solutions [to the climate emergency]. C-Change has not only had a positive impact on cultural operators but has been a catalyst for the city to update many policies. It has been exciting to see how the impact of climate change has shaped and will be shaping the future of our city.”

For Manchester, looking to improve its model C-change has provided the opportunity to review its good practice’. Grainne Bradley of Manchester City Council believes that “The main value derived has been the reconnection between the City Council and the arts and culture sector. The sector and the City both have the same ambitions around zero carbon, and both want to contribute to the carbon reduction action plan [with] policy [now] aligning.”

Simon Curtis from the Royal Exchange Theatre and chair of MAST also gave his perspective of the project value saying “It has brought the wider sector together. You don’t often mix the full diversity of the sector together in one place [theatre people mixing with museum people]. We have accepted a collective responsibility [for the climate emergency].”

In addition to hearing the city perspectives, a piece of music created by Tasha Dowd of Brighter Sounds was presented. Tasha was commissioned by the C-Change network to create a new composition in response to the global climate emergency. The workshop began with a powerful extract and highlighted one of the many ways the C-Change network is influencing the culture sector in Manchester. You can view the piece in full here -

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Friday, 27 November, 2020

All in all, the takeaway message was that cities can utilise existing networks in their area to drive climate action and reduce emissions. Also, that by working with sectors in your city you can increase the impact of your carbon reduction plans, particularly by working with your culture sector who can help you to engage citizens. The workshop fulfilled their intention brilliantly.

The full recording of the workshop is still available on the European Week of Regions and Cities website along with all the other sessions as part of the programme of activities.

For quick access to the Driving Climate Action in Cities workshop, the link is here -


Claire Buckley, Consultant at Julies Bicycle and C-Change Lead Expert, Julie's Bicycle, United Kingdom.


Grainne Bradley, Principal Resource and Programmes Officer, Manchester City Council, United Kingdom.
Simon Curtis, Head of Production, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, United Kingdom.
Emanuele Salmin, Fundraising and EU Projects Officer, Comune di Mantova, Italy.


Comune di Mantova (Municipality of Mantova), Julie's Bicycle, Manchester Arts Sustainability Team, Manchester City Council

Additional Links:

Mantova: Home (

MAST 5 year report:

Carbon Literacy Project:

Carbon Calculator :