Steps towards sustainability
In 2021, perhaps more than ever, we’ve unlocked a deep appreciation of the outdoors and the restorative power of the natural world. Daily walks are filled with discovery; quiet corners of new neighbourhoods, fresh coffee stalls and pretty side streets we’d never noticed before. While we may not be able to travel far, we can still make time to appreciate the creativity evolving in several of our favourite cities. Below, we explore three new eco-conscious trends emerging in Berlin, Edinburgh, London and Rome.
Grassroots movements in Berlin
Having pledged to become Carbon neutral by 2050, Germany’s creative capital is championing a wealth of sustainable initiatives. Visit beehives that have been cultivated on several rooftop locations across city landmarks including Berlin Cathedral, and take in spectacular views of the city whilst supporting local businesses. Beekeeping has become so popular that the city has more than 20 hives per square mile. The Berlin State Opera has also set up a musical offshoot known as Orchester des Wandels, which translates to Orchestra of Change, dedicated to promoting positive awareness around climate change through a series of performances enhanced with visual displays throughout the year.
Rewilding in Scotland
Often cited as one of the greenest cities in the world, almost half of Edinburgh is classified as green space, comprising 32 Green Flag parks – an award commending parks for their standard of excellence. The Scottish National Health Service advocates spending time in nature to nurture mental health and physical wellness. Located just beyond Glasgow, the Trees for Life initiative pledges to restore the rare flora and fauna in Scotland’s precious Caledonian Forest, and welcomes volunteers from all walks of life to join its conservation efforts. In response to recent restrictions, the Scottish government is due to launch a £10m ‘Spaces for People’ project to develop new walking and cycling routes throughout Edinburgh to support physical and mental wellness while distancing measures are in place.
London’s pavement culture
Restrictions have encouraged a new realm of creativity in hospitality the world over, and particularly so in London. Many of the city’s busiest streets were pedestrianised over the past 12 months, embracing a new pavement culture usually associated with the likes of Paris or Milan. Westminster Council has launched a new scheme to pedestrianise the Strand, one of the busiest parts of central London, to create a “world class public space” for residents and visitors to enjoy this summer. Also worth a mention is Eccleston Yards, a pre-existing enclave of outdoor events, talks and markets in Belgravia supporting local businesses. Nestled in the courtyard, luxury concept store 50m provides a platform to showcase young talent and emerging local designers.
Coffee with a conscience in Rome
Synonymous with its aromatic café culture, Rome’s coffee flows more freely than water and is possibly consumed twice as much. An exciting new movement is rippling through Rome in the form of a slow-food approach to coffee. Speciality cafés and restaurants such as Écru are championing a new breed of high quality, ‘third-wave’ coffee, highlighting traceability and ethical practices. Look out for more speciality hotspots across the city to fuel your next visit.
Rocco Forte Hotels is taking steps towards a more sustainable future. Stay tuned for more updates on our local partnerships, initiatives and innovative products to join the movement towards greener practices in the hospitality industry.