Southampton Citizens’ Climate Assembly

At the end of 2023, Southampton City Council ran its first ever citizens’ assembly. It focused on climate change and transport. It was run in partnership with the University of Southampton, University of Oxford and public participation charity Involve. The assembly brought together a group of residents from across the city and asked them to make considered recommendations on how the council and others should tackle climate change.

The question put to the group was: How do we ensure an accessible, affordable and connected transport system in the city, whilst reducing carbon emissions and meeting climate targets?

The assembly itself consisted of 37 residents who broadly reflected the city in terms of both demographics and attitudes. A further 93 residents fed into the assembly through civil society events and an online platform.

The assembly produced three outputs aimed at informing the next iteration of the council’s Local Transport Plan:

  • A vision statement for the future of transport in Southampton
  • Recommendations on priority actions for how the council and others should deliver this vision
  • Ideas on funding for the council to consider alongside current funding avenues

The council has noted the recommendations and will start:

  • Using them to inform the next iteration of the Local Transport Plan (timeline set by central government but potentially in 2025)
  • Sharing these with key organisations and stakeholders across the city who can (help) take them forward
  • Using them as a guide for future engagement