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‘Bristol Resilience Strategy’ framework launched

This month Bristol City Council officially launched 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 focusing 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 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.”

Download the strategy at https://www.bristol.gov.uk/policies-plans-strategies/bristol-resilience-strategy 

This month, you can have your say on two significant strategies for the city and region:

  • The council’s draft Corporate Strategy sets out the council’s priorities in a five year-plan for the city and includes possible solutions to a £92m budget gap faced between 2017 and 2022. In the face of budgetary challenges, the Mayor is asking local people and organisations to come forward and let him know what matters to them and share any ideas or solutions they might have. The council’s ideas published in the draft strategy address significant issues including how to ensure jobs and affordable homes, how to ensure opportunities are accessible to all, and how the city can lead on climate change and pollution with improvements to public transport. The consultation is live and runs until 5 January 2017 – visit www.bristol.gov.uk/corpstrategy  
  • The four West of England councils are running a 6-week consultation on early proposals for homes, job and transport up to 2036: where the 105,000 more homes needed could be built, what land could be allocated for new employment opportunities, and how a £7.5 billion of proposed transport improvements to address existing and future demand.Read more about why it is it important for you to have your say in our recent blog post and report from our discussions at the December 2016 Partnership Gathering.
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