Arts and Culture

Children’s imaginations harnessed in murals depicting ‘cities of the future’

Children have imagined a future with robots being deployed to pick litter, more green spaces to play in and grow fruit and vegetables, as well as electric-only public transport and animals roaming free.

The imagination of youngsters has been harnessed to create a mural depicting sustainable cities of our future, taking inspiration from a recent study of 2,000 eight-to-16-year-olds.

Over half (58%) said greener cities of the future would need more parks and allotments, as well as more public recycling options (52%).

Almost half (44%) felt that public transport could be much more sustainable, with more trams and electric buses, and 47% said all buildings and bus stops should be fitted with solar panels.

Sadly, 46% of children see cost as the main obstacle to building greener cities, while 17% said it was a lack of knowledge by decision makers.

E.ON, which has its HQ in the city of Coventry and commissioned the study, enlisted local artist Ben Barter and muralist Katie O’Sullivan to bring the hopes of the youngsters to life in a mural titled ‘Our Imagined Future’ which was painted by a group of 9–12-year-old school children and is on display at the city’s FarGo Village.

It shows children and robots picking litter, foxes, ducks, and hedgehogs coexisting with humans and high streets full of rental fashion stores and upcycling shops. The mural also features sustainable solutions such as heat pumps, solar panels, and EV chargers as part of a greener future in cities.

Ben Barter said: “It has been inspiring to see how children interpret what a more sustainable future could consist of within this city. My personal favourite is the robots picking up litter and the animals living alongside us in an ecologically diverse environment.”

Katie O’Sullivan added: “Coventry is a beautiful city that I have been fortunate enough to help paint and decorate. It’s incredibly rewarding to be a part of this campaign, bringing life and colour to children’s hopes for the sustainable future. Mural artwork is a great platform to shed light on important topics.”

The mural was commissioned to celebrate E.ON’s 15-year strategic energy partnership with Coventry City Council to transform the city’s approach to carbon reduction. The initiative sees the company become the city’s new Strategic Energy Partner, forming an alliance that aims to build a cleaner and more sustainable city.

Ben Tuck, Social Value Programme Manager at E.ON, said: “Through this mural, we hope to further raise awareness of the importance of sustainability in cities like Coventry, and indeed across the country, as well as the changes we can all make to help build a greener future. ‘Our Imagined Future’ is a great way to visualise children’s inspiring and creative solutions to make our cities greener, more sustainable, and better places to live.

E.ON is also making its return as lead partner for MotoFest Coventry 2024 and the company’s customer facing arm, E.ON Next, has been announced as a major sponsor of the Godiva festival.

Visit the mural at FarGo Village, 105-106 Far Gosford Street, Coventry, CV1 5EA from 22nd May 2024 onwards. To find out more about the mural, and the partnership with Coventry City Council, please visit eonenergy.com/coventry.

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