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                                                  At the start of the year, we outlined three overarching
                                                  objectives for our time as European Green Capital: to
                                                  empower Bristolians; to build our international profile; and
                                                  to demonstrate our sustainability leadership. I could give
                                                  many examples to illustrate how we have achieved these
                                                  objectives through education, science and technology,
                                                  through art and music, in business and in the community;
                                                  we did it in Bristol and at COP21 in Paris. There is no room
                                                  here for such a detailed account. I invite you to read this
                                                  review in order to obtain a much fuller picture.

                                                  Instead of attempting a summary I want to recount one
                                                  story that, for me, encapsulates the very essence of what
                                                  we were trying to achieve and says a lot about Bristol’s
                                                  journey towards sustainability, and our bright green future.
               Andrew Garrad                      I recently watched a collection of short films, one made
                                                  for each of the 14 Neighbourhood Arts Programme
               Chair of Bristol 2015 Ltd          projects (see pages 66-71). One of them features a girl,
                                                  perhaps 12 years old, who was involved in the Dundry
               During 2015 I had a terrific       Slopes project. That project encourages people to get
               opportunity to learn more          out and explore this beautiful, relatively undiscovered
                                                  landmark. The girl tells us how she went to help with the
               about what makes this city         project while wearing her new Converse tracksuit. She
               great – from its hundreds          got it muddy. At first, she was annoyed about the dirt, but
               of grassroots projects, to         then she realised that, while the mud would wash out,
                                                  the experience had given her memories that would last a
               its beautiful green spaces,        lifetime. It brought a tear to my eye!
               to its world-class science,
               innovation and enterprise.         For me, this story symbolises three things. First, that real
                                                  progress requires real connections with real people –
                                                  whether it is helping a young girl discover the pleasure of
               And I can say, without doubt,      playing on a nearby hill, or enabling a social entrepreneur
               that the people of Bristol         to connect with investors.
               should feel proud.                 Second, it says that change is always about action. From
                                                  the countless volunteer hours given in support of Bristol’s
                                                  year in the spotlight, to the thousands of people who
                                                  pledged to make small, sustainable changes to their daily
                                                  habits through our Do15 in 2015 campaign, I have seen
                                                  time and again that Bristol people walk the talk.
                                                  Finally, of course, it is a story about our future. Our world is
                                                  facing serious challenges, and cities around the world just
                                                  like Bristol are a vital part of the solution. As we move into
                                                  2016 and beyond, I ask all of you to think of the Dundry
                                                  girl in her muddy tracksuit, and to remember why this
                                                  journey to sustainability matters quite so much.

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