How can citizens shape decisions about the future of transport and responses to climate change in Southampton?

Southampton Climate Assembly
Southampton City Council, University of Southampton, University of Oxford

Emissions from transport in the city make up 29% of emissions in Southampton, making it a key area to be addressed as part of the council’s ambitions to tackle climate change with residents and businesses at the heart of what they do. 

At the end of 2023, Southampton City Council brought together 37 people from across the city in a citizens’ assembly to answer the question:

How do we ensure an accessible, affordable and connected transport system in the city, whilst reducing carbon emissions and meeting climate targets?

Members of the Southampton Citizens' Climate Assembly

The Southampton Citizens' Climate Assembly was set up as part of the council’s commitment to work together with residents and businesses to tackle climate change. The council wanted to use the outputs of the assembly to inform its Local Transport Plan.

Southampton City Council commissioned the assembly alongside the University of Southampton and University of Oxford​. They appointed Involve to independently design and facilitate the assembly, and write a subsequent report about the findings.

In total, 130 residents contributed to the assembly:

  • 75 people attended civil society events to inform the assembly’s remit and question 
  • 18 people shared their experience of transport through an online platform (out of which 4 were invited to share their experiences in the assembly)
  • 37 people, recruited to reflect the local population of Southampton, took part in the assembly itself 

The 37 assembly members were selected through Sortition and were given a £340 gift of thanks for participating in all sessions, to make the assembly accessible to all and in recognition of their time. We also covered travel and any additional costs such as childcare.

You can hear more about the assembly from the members below.

The Southampton Citizens' Climate Assembly report, including the assembly's final recommendations, is available here. (Reader accessible version here.)