18th May 2008, the day I finally take the plunge and set up my own blog. I've been following other blogs for a few months now, frequently posting comments and sometimes testing the host's hospitality. So I thought it was time to sort out one of my own. At the very least it's no more than a personal record of my thoughts and deeds, recorded for my dotage so that I can see that I was once a literate and rational person (or so I now think) and of course something for posterity, to show the future world that I once existed and thought. But I hope this turns out to be of contemporary interest to others too.
But why the Green Bristol Blog you ask? Because I intend to focus on issues that relate to the greenness or otherwise of Bristol, a city that has recently acquired ambitions in that direction. My hope is to inject some observations of the mundane reality into the debate, to help bring people back to earth, so to speak. You will be guessing by now that my approach is going to be a critical one, and so it will be. I make no apologies for that, since I regard criticism as a vital ingredient to any sensible debate. Having said that, I will try to be fair, honest and objective, and it will be open to anyone to comment on what I say, particularly if they think it fails to be all of those things. I am also happy to receive suggestions as to what should be highlighted here.
My focus will be on the way Bristol works for those who prefer to walk and cycle, not just in the limited sense of the availability of routes but in the character, quality and sociability of the environment in which walking and cycling take place. To me a journey on foot or bike should be a positive experience in itself, not just a means of getting from A to B. That is certainly true in the absence of motor traffic, as evidenced by the popularity of walking and cycling on traffic free routes. Of course any motor traffic tends to degrade that and a lot of motor traffic ruins it, but there is still much that can and should be done to make walking and cycling as pleasant as possible, even in an urban environment where motor traffic is inevitable.