A destination of choice to live, visit and work in
The future of cities like Manchester rests on whether we’re a great place to live – a liveable city. Creating a high quality of life for people already living here will attract more talent to be part of Manchester’s future and with it, investment and jobs. This virtuous circle will make us truly sustainable.
Manchester has huge advantages: a broad base of good jobs, quality housing and the best public transport outside London. We’re a welcoming city with vibrant nightlife, sport, green spaces and a cutting edge arts scene. We recognise that these things are central to quality of life and nurture aspiration and success, so we have invested in our cultural assets, sport, open spaces and waterways. This has also driven our focus on design and creating spaces like St Peter’s Square that open up the city and provide places for people to meet and spend time. A focus on creating a low carbon city with practical but ambitious plans to reduce carbon emissions is integral to being a liveable city.
Climate change commitments
The city’s commitments on climate change are set out in climate change strategy, ‘Manchester: a Certain Future (MACF) 2010-2020’, developed in response to evidence that the global climate is changing as a result of human activities, and also a recognition that action on climate change can contribute significantly to our city’s wider objectives.
Generating renewable energy reduces both carbon emissions and residents’ energy bills. Better business resource efficiency reduces environmental impacts as well as exposure to fluctuating energy and material costs. Preparing for climate change improves the city’s attractiveness to investors and homebuyers. These and other benefits are the prize if Manchester embraces and realises its potential to become a leading low carbon, climate-adapted city.
We want to reduce CO2 levels by 41% by 2020, from 2005 levels – a target set in 2009 as Manchester’s fair contribution to Government’s target to reduce UK emissions by 80% by 2050, to help limit global temperature rises to 2oC. Forecasts show that local and national action will bring a 29% reduction. As a city we need stronger powers to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy. We’ll use our devolution deal to address this with Government.
By 2025 we’ll have a longer term carbon reduction plan and target, influenced by the intergovernmental Paris meeting in December 2015. We will take greater control of where our energy comes from so more heat and power come from affordable, locally produced low- and zero-carbon energy. Investments today in transport infrastructure, becoming a denser city and changes to how people live and work mean that the climate change and air quality impacts of travelling around the city will be reducing. We will move away from a system that must extract and process finite resources to manufacture goods, to one that sees waste as a resource, giving birth to a whole new industry in material reuse and recycling.
Over the coming decade the significant investments made will be a critical force in increasing the attractiveness of our city.
The Commonwealth Games defined Manchester as a city of sport, encouraging further investment and providing a platform for everyone to join in. City of Manchester Stadium became the Etihad Stadium – home of Manchester City FC. Across the Etihad Campus is a collection of world class sports facilities including the the City Football Academy; the National Squash Centre; the Manchester Institute of Health and Performance; the National Indoor BMX centre; and the Velodrome which as the home of British cycling, played an essential role in Great Britain’s recent Olympic cycling success.
Sport in Manchester is culturally iconic. To many, Manchester is the home of football and is now also home to the National Football Museum. Football is a key element of our identity. Home crowds reflect fans’ diversity and as an export the game attracts players and fans from across the globe. Few cities match the intensity of a Manchester derby where close to a billion people watch the city compete on an international stage.
Our heavy investment in culture will continue. The Manchester International Festival is firmly established as one of the UK’s most influential cultural events, HOME is a new destination for world leading international film, theatre and art. The Whitworth Gallery, recently named 2015 Museum of the Year, attracts international attention and has drawn in an audience from across Manchester’s communities with inclusive and welcoming programmes and values rooted in Manchester.
There’s vast scope to grow the contribution culture make's to our economy and reputation. Developments like the new arts space Factory Manchester will help us and the North provide a genuine cultural counterbalance to London. Equally, existing high quality cultural venues and the niche, spontaneous side to Manchester’s culture and events will be nurtured to ensure a varied cultural spectrum matching our city’s size and diversity.
Cities create the best opportunities for a sustainable future, our strategy and what we do have sustainability woven through them.
We must get the basics right. The city needs to be clean, safe and welcoming – street cleaning, waste collection and recycling must be efficient as funding continues to be under pressure. We must recycle more – for the environment and to ease budget pressures. New ways of investing in the basics cities need, like roads and schools, will focus our negotiations with Government on a new settlement for local places.
Everyone must play their part in making Manchester an attractive place to live and be proud of. Communities will continue actively looking after neighbourhoods, businesses will act responsibly and play a part in their communities and the Council will use its powers to prosecute fly tippers and litter-droppers. We want a city that everyone respects.
As we pursue growth we will improve air quality, decrease pollution and generate energy from sustainable sources, preparing for future climate change.
Our vision for dense development around transport interchanges with sustainable, attractive buildings is an urban model with outstanding environmental credentials. We’ll also have open spaces to relax and exercise – helping reduce carbon and promote active lifestyles. This means making the most of green spaces, parks, waterways and the spaces between buildings: designing them into the city as it develops.
By harnessing evolving digital technology, the city can become even more innovative, accessible and sustainable. As innovation advances we must build on every contribution it could make towards our city’s vision.
City centre growth must continue with well planned new communities enjoying convenient schools, doctors and green spaces – in the way New Islington Free School is providing much needed additional school places in the heart of the city.
Changes in home ownership and our young, working population’s needs will put a focus on good, sustainable, well managed homes to rent. People are attracted by the quality of life, ease of living near work, nearby public transport and a city with plenty to do.
We need new models of investment and access to finance so brownfield land can be developed and to support more houses. Earmarking environmental tax paid by Greater Manchester businesses and spending it locally on this could drive these new kinds of investment.
Beyond the city centre lie vibrant and popular neighbourhoods. We need the right mix of good quality housing in areas that people are proud to call home. Huge investment has transformed large parts of the city – both through improved, redesigned existing areas and new neighbourhoods. These neighbourhoods need vibrant, thriving centres that adapt to meet changing shopping and leisure trends.
The voluntary and community sector plays a large part in creating neighbourhoods where people want to live and in supporting communities that may be more dispersed but face particular challenges or exclusion. The sector runs youth groups, sports and arts clubs, environmental and campaign groups. They take over run down buildings and turn them into community hubs. They welcome and integrate newcomers to the city from around the globe. They run community allotments, community cafes and much more.
To meet a growing population’s demands we must have more good new homes for sale and rent in neighbourhoods where jobs will be created.
A significant but decreasing number of neighbourhoods still has poor private rented housing, crime and high levels of deprivation – usually older terraced housing areas in the north, east and centre. Our priority here is to turn these neighbourhoods around, targeting our action and raising standards.
Manchester’s population is growing more diverse. We have a global reputation as a welcoming city; residents have a proud track record of positive integration and the city embraces and works to improve the lives of minorities who make up its diverse character. The city’s Manchester Day is a showcase of our diversity and cohesion. Festivals like Manchester Pride and the Mela are major celebrations in the city’s calendar, attracting people from the city and from far beyond it.
We must nurture this sense of cohesive, integrated communities, it's the lifeblood of our neighbourhoods. We must empower and engage them. Manchester is a diverse, friendly, welcoming place that dares to be different, with a defining ‘can do’ attitude and community spirit. This is central to what makes the city unique. As the city grows, these values should strengthen and spread, becoming embedded in proud Mancunians, forming the heart of the city’s identity.