With less than a week to go until the crucial COP26 climate summit, Glasgow is ready to welcome delegates, visitors and locals to the city.
Hosting such a globally significant event gives Glasgow a unique opportunity to showcase the city to the world, our role as a leader in the race to net zero and Glasgow as an attractive investment proposition.
Young people, businesses, indigenous and community groups will be among those holding events open to the public during the climate change conference. Coupled with this, the City Chambers will play host to key stakeholders in a series of networking and policy events allowing the Council to further develop relationships with influential peer cities and potential investors, to benefit the city as a legacy of COP26.
Among the pop-up spaces across the city, a focal point will be the Sustainable Glasgow Landing and The Landing Hub, a project by New Practice in collaboration with Inhouse. The vibrant, welcoming space is where technology and design and the arts meet climate and social justice movements in a newly transformed, vacant riverside site in Broomielaw.
For the duration of COP26, The Landing Hub will host a packed events programme including question and answer panels with indigenous environmental defenders, activities for all ages, interactive performances and films. At the Sustainable Glasgow Landing, a vertical farm with a robot will deliver your crops alongside an avenue of local and international exhibitors showcasing the people, companies and technology helping Glasgow reach its ambitious target of net-zero carbon by 2030. On weekends after 6pm, The Landing Hub becomes a social space with a bar, where those over 18 can connect, share ideas and dance.
The council's Host City Zone programme will bring together a wide range of partners from across the world to the chambers for Glasgow to learn from and further develop relationships with, as a legacy of COP26.
Mirroring the COP26 Presidency themed days including nature, youth, energy, finance and transport, a curated programme of policy meetings and events ensure that the chambers will act as a stakeholder hub for the Council, allowing influential invited guests to see that Glasgow truly is an urban leader in the race to net-zero carbon and a place where green business can be done.
Planned events include a breakfast that will see Glasgow formally joining the Thriving Cities Initiative, the launching of a Children's Climate Charter for the city and an event to celebrate the city's third sector for their contribution to building a greener city whilst thanking them for their key role in supporting Glaswegian communities through the pandemic. Civic receptions will also be hosted by the Lord Provost, welcoming faith groups, climate campaigners and the participants of the recent climate citizens assembly.
The city will also have a place at the UK-government run Green Zone at Glasgow Science Centre with the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Glasgow and Invest Glasgow and in the UN-led Blue Zone, where the formal talks are taking place. Having a presence in both 'zones' gives city representatives unrivalled access to international delegates to show what Glasgow has to offer as a place to study, live, work, visit and invest in.
It also provides the opportunity to tell people about Glasgow's sustainable ambitions, our plans and action so far in tackling the climate emergency. Key staff will be on hand to engage with visitors and delegates, with QR codes linking to websites such as Sustainable Glasgow, the Greenprint for Investment and the Storymap - an interactive self-guided walking tour.
The Blue Zone is not open to the public, but the Green Zone is open to the public from 9am to 6pm each day.
With the general public, youth groups, civil society, academics, artists and businesses all expected to be present, the Green Zone will be a dedicated COP26 Google Arts & Culture site. With tickets having recently sold out, the space will be accessible virtually via the COP26 YouTube channel, with public across the world able to see what's on display.
Leader of Glasgow City Council, Cllr Susan Aitken commented: "Glasgow is ready to extend a characteristically warm welcome to those arriving in the city for this crucial event.
"As part of that, we are finalising sites such as our Host City Zone and the Sustainable Glasgow Landing - a place for local and global organisations to come together and exhibit the amazing work they are doing to combat climate change.
"COP26 being held in Glasgow is a huge opportunity for the city and Scottish business more broadly, and I'm delighted to see so much talent and innovation on show."
Taken together, these events have the potential to represent a large proportion of the world's population in collaboration with the host nation and city in all their geographical and cultural diversity.