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Case Study 4: Green space vs. Supermarket

Environmental Justice or Inequality?

Environmental Inequality

Relevant Themes

Ensuring community cohesion and building social capital. The Sustainable Neighbourhood Partnership.

Profile of the community

Community in Trafford, Manchester

Barriers to resolve & what was done

Barriers: Awareness and Accessibility. Community's lack of awareness of environmental issues and feeling they don’t have a voice to influence change. A public playing field was threatened as a development plot by a large supermarket. Development on the green space would likely damage local business, increase traffic and remove an important community resource.

Response: Local residents and businesses including Unicorn Grocery, Manchester Friends of the Earth (MFoE), Action for Sustainable Living and Trafford Council campaigned to retain the green space, rather than allow the supermarket to move in. The collaborations saw a louder and more legitimate voice for the Community created.

Increased public awareness of local, national and global environmental issues and the role we all play in the problem and its solution, through the use of campaign stalls, street-based action, community events, holding meetings, media and by lobbying MP’s was achieved.

SMART targets/ indicators of inequality

Community confidence in influencing decision-making, civic participation.


The community campaigned to protect a green space from a new supermarket development and the proposal was turned down at Public Inquiry. This shows how important it is for the public to take a stand, and emphasises that people do have a voice.

The general public, with support from MfoE, is now aware that they can influence decision-making. They are part of the Sustainable Neighbourhoods Pool (a project run by Environment Network for Manchester) to gather the view, issues, and concerns of individuals and community groups to feed into policy writing) and have inputted into consultations around the Guide to Development II, the Sustainability Appraisal Objectives of the Local Development Framework and the Joint Waste Development Plan Document. Much of the group’s work is on issues at a national, or international level, seeking to influence MP’s or MEPs. MfoE continues to facilitate direct action and building of social capital through getting people involved in their campaigns, informing the general public and providing a mechanism for influencing decision makers.


Strong connection and network system for engaging the public to come together and tackle environmental issues.


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