There are various conversations going on at the moment in Manchester about finding Nature-Based-Solutions to Urban Resilience... What this means is that Manchester, like all towns and cities is facing a crisis in the face of increased climate change (bringing more extreme weather conditions as well as flooding etc), growing pollution from over-use of cars and vehicles, other problems associated with dense populations, limited resources etc.
Many scientists and governments are now looking to Nature to provide solutions to our unsustainable way of living and in so doing building the towns and cities ability to cope with and buffer these changes and challenges, in doing so making our cities more 'resilient' and 'sustainable'. This could make for a greener living environment and as well as some cost-saving and potential for biodiversity and better environments for wildlife etc. But these are not a given, how we really implement Green Infrastructure will lead to different outcomes.
I have just read Robin Wall Kimmerer's Braiding Sweetgrass. So thanks to Robin, I now have new questions to ask. If we are asking nature for her gifts, free of charge and pretty much on demand, what will give her in return? How can we return the endless gifts that we are given instead of taking them for granted or even exploiting them? How do we become guardians of nature, stewards, carers and keepers of nature?
There are many ways.
Starting with the need to appreciate Nature, her generosity, her abundance, her power, her adaptability, her strength, her own resilience.
For the next few months we are going to be exploring the inherent resilience in Nature herself in our Ardwick Art Walks funded by GM Walking Grants and lead by local artists.
"In ecology, resilience is the capacity of an ecosystem to respond to a perturbation or disturbance by resisting damage and recovering quickly."
We are keen to explore - through art - how nature is resilient, what that looks like, what form it takes, we will collect photographs, words/poems, drawings, and stitches to share what we find.
Ulitmately we are interested to know:
What can Plants Teach Us About Resilience...