Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Painting the city green: Artistic public engagement for micromobility and more


The Climate and Biodiversity Emergencies are core Planetary Boundaries agreed by an international community of scholars to pose an existential threat to safe operating space of Human Development on planet earth.

Coventry Council identifies that 39% of West Midland's Green House Gases come from transport, the vast majority being from cars; this predominance also threatens urban human health from pollution and particulates. The University of Warwick generates c.8,300 car journeys in the single peak morning travel hour, many of which are from within a 30-minute cycle of the campus. A modal shift to lower carbon intensity and more active travel patterns are a high priority of the Council's recently Transport Strategy (2022).

The Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is actively promoting the UK Government's Environment Act. One specific objective is to create new wildlife corridors across Coventry to support the resilience of other species, actively marginalised by human development, through processes such as urbanisation and road construction.

The proposed project builds from the authentic interdisciplinary approach of the Division of Global Sustainable Development, School of Cross-Faculty Studies, in addressing the Climate Emergency, local air pollution and the provision of ecosystem services, through the development of Green Micromobility Corridors.

Green corridors, walks and workshops

Led by Dr Alastair Smith (Global Sustainable Development), the project supported a Green Micromobilities Living Laboratories project, engaging stakeholders - including the WWT and Coventry Councill, plus local community groups to co-create knowledge and visioning for a Micromobility Green Corridor between the University and the City. Initial research produces public murals that capture reflections and opportunities as expressed by stakeholders. It further engaged wider interest in ongoing research and the possibility for such an investment.

The project cements a long-discussed partnership between the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Coventry City Council. The relationship is supported by connecting these organisations to two local creatives. This focused on how artistic process can support a synthesis of the Councils micromobility and WWTs green corridor agendas, by integrating further community stakeholders in creative expression. Team members undertook a stakeholder route walk from the city centre to the University Campus, followed by a creative expression workshop. The walk and discussion helped develop ideas for the design and positioning of public mural art that represents the co-created knowledge around value and opportunities of Green Micromobility Corridors in the city. This exploratory phase has helped the team prepare ideas for a future project to be developed.

This project links to the below Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):