Welcome to RE[act]

We are delighted to launch Belfast’s first festival devoted to creating a sustainable city, and we hope there will be a number of events within the programme that will be of interest to you. 

But why have we launched this new festival? LQ BID has been keen to promote a more sustainable Belfast since our inception in 2018, but COP26 has provided an added incentive. At the end of October 30,000 delegates from 197 countries will descend on Glasgow to discuss what we need to do to limit global warming to 1.5%, to secure international buy-in to net zero carbon emissions, and to consider the adaption required to protect communities and habitats. 

With momentous discussions taking place ‘next door’ we felt it important that Belfast had the opportunity to be part of this global conversation. Among other questions how do we get to net zero and what sort of adaptions are required to enhance resilience and sustainability? And of course, it is not just talk. We want people to RE[act] – to do their bit at the level of government, or as an organisation, or simply as an ordinary individual. 

We are delighted that so many partner organisations across Belfast have contributed a exciting range of events and activities and we are grateful for their support. And as way of reassurance you don’t need to be a climate expert to join in as we have designed RE[act] for everyone: 

  • For families we have a weekend nature walk at Botanic Park, or why not try turning trash into treasure at Elmwood Hall?  
  • For students in years 8 & 9 we have an art competition to create a vision for a more sustainable future, while older students may want to join our youth summit at City Hall. And if you are currently studying at QUB or Ulster you can participate in our climate hackathon, with the possibility of winning £10k seed funding for a sustainable business. 
  • Our transport event at Custom House Square will showcase Translink’s new electric bus and we’ll be providing lots of support for cyclists, including complimentary bike maintenance and loads of products to give away, including free lights from local company see.sense. 
  • We also have thematic events on core areas of everyday life, from fashion to food, and from finance to waste management. Why not look up a subject that interests you most and join the debate? 
  • And finally, we have an eclectic mix of sustainable cities events – creating a circular economy, growing a green city, or developing more sustainable buildings, to name but a few. 

The 2-week festival starts on 2 November. We would be delighted if you would join us in the global conversation, and if the events inspire you to RE[act] then so much the better.

Carol Lemmens - Arup

Carol is Arup’s Global Advisory Services Portfolio leader and interim Europe Property Business leader.

He was instrumental in developing Arup’s position paper to define the circular economy in the context of the built environment and developing Arup’s work as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s (EMF) knowledge partner for the built environment. He continues to work to raise the awareness of the circular economy approach from general first principles to practice by identifying the many challenges, enablers and opportunities available to Arup and others in making the circular economy a reality. Carol regularly contributes to Circular Economy and thought pieces, presentations and interviews globally. Most notably, Carol was invited to give a key note address to the United Nations General Assembly at their Circular Economy event, in October 2018.