A dynamic vision for how Bristol could look 50 years from now will be discussed by the council’s Cabinet next week (1 November).
In a far-sighted move to create a bright future for the city, Cabinet will be asked to adopt the ‘Bristol Resilience Strategy’ as a framework for action to protect Bristol against potential shocks and stresses it may encounter.
The strategy, which has been drawn up with help from the local community, aims to build on the work already being done to make the city socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.
It sets out intentions to create a ‘flourishing’ city and tackle some of the Bristol’s major issues, including, traffic congestion, affordable housing, waste and child poverty.
The strategy, which also aims to give people more of a say in decisions made in local government, is intended to be an evolving document which complements the new Corporate Strategy 2017-2022.
By developing an ambitious, long-term direction for the city, Bristol will join a handful of other forward-thinking global cities, including New York, San Francisco, Rotterdam and Rio De Janeiro, who have already outlined their plans for the future.
The Resilience Strategy has been developed over the past 18 months by the council’s Strategic Resilience Officer, whose post has been funded by the Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities initiative. A resilience assessment process identified five resilience challenges Bristol needs to address to take the city towards a resilient future. These include inequality, the unequal spread of wealth and prosperity and dependence on national and global systems.
Based on the resilience assessment the Strategy vision sets out how Bristol can respond to these challenges, stating:
“Bristol is ready. By 2066 we are a flourishing, welcoming city which inspires confidence in local and global investors. Our neighbourhoods are affordable, attractive, healthy and well-connected places where people of all ages and backgrounds trust and help each other. Our infrastructure and services are designed to withstand extreme weather and unforeseen shocks. We invite partners to work with us to challenge norms and embrace radical change for a resilient future Bristol.”
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Bristol is a prosperous city, but that is not guaranteed and we cannot take it for granted. We face environmental and social challenges that pose a constant challenge and threaten this prosperity. By setting out a clear and deliberate vision of what and where we want to be as a city, we hope to be better placed to unlock innovative solutions to issues that affect us both now and into the future.
"Social and environmental resilience must be at the heart of that approach. We need to take bold action to make sure that Bristol is able to adapt, develop and deliver change effectively and in the best interests of the population. This represents an opportunity for our communities to own and shape the long term future of our city.
“Should Cabinet vote to approve this strategy, to enable it to be owned by the city as whole, it is proposed that the City Office will be responsible for overseeing its future implementation, and we will build resilience into the heart of all our future plans.”
Bristol is one of five UK cities in the Rockefeller 100RC network. As well as funding for a Chief Resilience Officer, Bristol’s membership brings in resources for drafting the resilience strategy, access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges.
Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities, said: “Bristol’s resilience strategy is the result of extensive analysis, self-assessment, and stakeholder engagement, and is an actionable vision for the city’s future. We are excited to partner with Bristol on implementing the transformative ideas laid out in this strategy.”
The report identifies the new City Office, which is bringing key stakeholders and organisations together from across the city to develop solutions to the issues that matter most, as a suitable body to oversee the future implementation of the Resilience Strategy.