ENVIRONMENTAL experts descended on Wearside to help build a sustainable future for the city.
The green-thinking group, from Bulgaria, France, Greece, Poland, Spain and Sweden, were on a Peer Learning Visit to talk to Sunderland City Council and regional partners including the University of Sunderland, Nexus and Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority.
The project is managed by the Eurocities network and is the first visit from the delegation as part of a wider EU-funded project called Cascade.
The sustainability experts talked about their efforts in reducing carbon emissions and creating a low carbon economy and green future.
Coun James Blackburn, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for city services, said: “Sunderland is affected by global environmental issues such as pollution and climate change, and committed to making its contribution to protecting the environment and ensuring sustainable development.
“Our visitors can see how we are already developing initiatives around sustainable transport, and we’ve all had the chance to meet and share ideas on how environmental targets can be reached here and in other European cities.”
The delegates visited sites including electric vehicle charging points, the Metro system, the Skills Academy for Manufacturing and Innovation and test track in Washington.
Coun Blackburn added: “Continuing co-operation within a network of equally committed European cities through Eurocities will also enable us to continue to develop key skills and knowledge within Sunderland.”
The group’s findings and recommendations following the visit will be used to help form future policy and practice across the region.
Sunderland joined Eurocities, the network of major European cities in November 2007.
The council’s membership aims to helps to influence EU policy and legislation and to exchange knowledge and experience with European Union institutions and fellow cities within the network.