With five billion people projected to live in cities by 2030, urban environments are facing increased air pollution and intense pressure on infrastructure and services.
The global COVID pandemic is not expected to fundamentally change the long-term challenges and the United Nations has dedicated one of its Sustainable Development Goals to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The opportunities and challenges these presents were debated at Sustainable Cities and Infrastructure, the latest Innovate Manchester event, created by MIDAS, GC Business Growth Hub and FutureEverything.
Dr. Beenish Siddique is the founder and CEO of one such Greater Manchester SME which is working in the sustainable cities field. AEH Innovative Hydrogel is using sustainable growing materials to increase indoor farming in cities. “The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the fragility of UK supply chains, especially for food,” said Dr Siddique. “Our company is helping indoor farmers to grow crops in a sustainable way. Indoor farming allows us to grow crops that are normally imported from other parts of the world.
“Our aim is to reduce the operational costs to make sure that indoor farming is approachable for everyone to make our cities more green and sustainable.” Innovate Manchester is part of a wider program, which runs to February 2021, and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, designed to drive business growth.
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