Bristol's International Balloon Fiesta

Our Green City: Global Challenges, Bristol Solutions

As part of UWE Bristol’s commitment to the Bristol Green Capital year 2015, we delivered a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to engage the public in Bristol and beyond with the key issues of sustainability in cities.

Our Green City was the first MOOC to be used to drive public engagement in any of the Green Capital Cities and attracted 2,000 learners from 71 countries through an imaginative combination of presentations, quizzes and community-led discussion fora.

Our Green City was a large undertaking for UWE Bristol, featuring 14 academic contributors from two faculties.  To ensure that the practice and spirit of Bristol’s year as European Green Capital was captured we worked with 24 organisations from across the Bristol Green Capital Partnership, demonstrating Bristol’s uniqueness and innovation in meeting the challenges of food, nature, resources, transport, leadership and energy.

Our Green City was part-funded by Bristol City Council, Bristol 2015 and the Department of Energy and Climate Change and was supported by The Bristol Green Capital Partnership.  Our aim was to create the knowledge and enhance the capability of learners to understand the key challenges for cities and look at ways that they could lead and develop meaningful change in their own localities.  Our Green City was highly regarded by our participants, funders and partners and provided a new way for UWE Bristol to engage with people about our environment and our place.

Green Gown Award finalists

Green Gown Awards 2016 winnerIn November 2016 The Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) awarded Our Green City with a Green Gown Award in the Learning and Skills category. The Learning and Skills category recognises achievement in the development of academic courses, skills and capabilities relevant to sustainability.

Established in 2004, the Green Gown Awards are the most prestigious recognition of sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges.


"A wide-ranging project that was executed extremely well. Excellent breadth and use of technology, with great potential for expansion across the sector. Commendable links with the Bristol sustainability community. The clear winner on judges’ scorecards across the board. "

Green Gown 2016 judges comments


Video archive

The course is now closed but in the spirit of sharing knowledge we have uploaded all of the videos so that they are freely available to all. The films vary in length from between 5 and 10 minutes each and are grouped according to the key themes of the course. Each section has a short introduction which will ground you within each theme:

We would like to express a big thanks to our funders and supporters but most importantly our learners who contributed so many of their own ideas to the discussions and fed back to us so many exciting plans that they have as a result of doing the course.

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