A bold aspiration to shape how Bristol could look 50 years from now has been officially launched.
The council shared the ‘Bristol Resilience Strategy’ - a framework to protect Bristol against potential shocks and pressures it may encounter in the future.
As the plan is looking ahead over the next 50 years, there is a large focus on young people and how they can help build a more resilient future for the city.
Many of the ideas included in the strategy will benefit the next generation, these include; votes for 16 year olds, free bus travel for U16s and a vision for a child-friendly city.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Resilience speaks to everything that we do and this strategy will help us, our partners and the community develop a strong plan for our shared future.
“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 deal with issues that affect us now and into the future.
“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 everyone who lives and works here. I’m pleased that we have this opportunity to work with our communities and include people in owning and shaping our long term future. Together we can help make sure everyone feels the benefit of Bristol’s strengths and success whilst being best protected from everything life throws at us.”
Youth Mayor Theo Davis said: “The Youth Mayors and Youth Council are pleased to see a City Resilience Strategy that looks fifty years ahead to a time when our own children will be adults. The actions and priorities that we choose to focus on today will determine the kind of city that Bristol is in the future.
“Young people should be at the heart of these discussions and have a real say in the decisions that affect our future. So it is great to see that the strategy include actions that will directly benefit young people; for example the proposals to give votes to 16 year olds, provide free bus travel for under 16s and improve work experience and volunteering opportunities.
“We would like to see more of a focus on mental health and wellbeing for young people as this is the basis of good personal resilience.”
As part of the launch event, there was a tour of examples of current projects in Bristol that understand the importance of resilience. These included Room 13 Hareclive, an independent artists’ studio run by children and adults working together, Filwood Green Business Park and the Severn Project, an urban farm that aims to empower individuals and communities by providing authentic training, education and employment opportunities.
The strategy, which has been drawn up with key stakeholders, 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 Bristol’s major issues, including, traffic congestion, affordable housing 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. Although we are facing difficult decisions now, the strategy is focussing on mapping out the long term direction of travel for the city.
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.
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 an honest, proactive, and creative view of the city’s challenges and opportunities, today and in the fifty years to come.
“100RC encourages cities to adopt this style of long-term, integrated planning – we’re thrilled to partner with Bristol in implementing this unique vision.”
CASE STUDY – ROOM 13 HARECLIVE ACADEMY
The Room 13 project is helping to build a future generation that is personally resilient through empowering children to voice their ideas and concerns and work on these together to make change happen.
Room 13 Hareclive is an independent artists’ studio run by children and adults working together. Children age 5+ can use the studio to follow their own creative projects and ideas.
Older children can apply for roles on the Management Team. Working with adults they man-age the studio, order materials, run a shop, raise funds and deal with issues that arise. The team works on many studio-wide creative projects in partnership with other organisations.
Room 13 encourages and supports the innate creativity, imagination, independent thinking, enterprise and collaboration in children. Over the years, 100s of young people have used and shaped the studio and generated ideas and work out into the world. Room 13’s work is both rooted in Hartcliffe and of national significance: Hareclive is one of the oldest Room 13 studios in the world and the Flagship project for England.
Room 13 values and supports children’s participation in the creative, cultural and ideas life of their studio, school, community, city and world. It encourages community engagement and citizenship amongst children, and encourages adults to listen to and value their contribution, whether that be through artwork, ideas, individual voice, studio presentations or project work. It’s an exciting project that demonstrates what children can do if they are given the space, time, support, responsibility and trust. In 2015 Room 13 won the Green Capital arts commission for Hartcliffe: to re-explore and promote the Dundry Slopes green area, starting with the insights and ideas of children.