A BRIGHTER, cleaner future is envisaged in a new "green blueprint" drawn up to improve a North-East city.

Future City, Future Lives was produced by the City of Sunderland Partnership, following consultation with 1,200 local businesses, groups and organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Designed as an environmental/sustainable blueprint for the next five years, the strategy outlines ways the wider community can help to provide a bright future for Wearside.

The specific plans highlighted include:

l Close working with local residents to restore Hendon Cliffs and beach;

l Restoring Doxford Park as a Victorian garden;

l Developing healthy lifestyles and diet through health promotion and initiatives;

l Designating five local nature reserves by 2004;

l Compiling "green transport" proposals for council employees and vehicles;

l Encouraging community involvement in local decision making to promote "a sense of ownership" in the sustainability strategy.

Progress of the plan will be monitored on a yearly rolling basis, stressing the need to involve as many age groups and bodies involved by increasing public awareness.

The overall aim of the blueprint is to give everyone the opportunity to "do their bit" in the continuing transition of Sunderland from an industrial town to a modern city.

Under the sustainability strategy there are eight themes building on the city's landscape, environment and "most importantly" its people.

The strategy seeks to support a more sustainable transport system by reducing pollution and congestion.

A major player in the drawing up of the proposals is Sunderland City Council.

Councillor Ian Galbraith, who has responsibility for sustainable development, said: "We want to build on the continued regeneration and renewal of the city, with the success of projects like Mowbray Park, but also on the more local impact of work done by local community groups to improve their own immediate environment.

"The message of this strategy is that everyone needs to get involved protecting our environment and improving our quality of life for generations to enjoy."

Copies of 'Future City, Future Lives' are available on request from the council's environment department, at Sunderland Civic Centre.