Imagine a city free from inequalities. One that is fair, healthy and sustainable, one which has a Premiership football team by 2025, and one in which everyone – no matter what their background – can thrive.
This is the vision for Bristol set out in an ambitious new manifesto that sets in place goals for the future, year by year, up to 2050.
With partners across the business, charitable, academic and public sectors, the One City Plan aims to transcend changing council administrations, with leaders saying that its launch marks a new era of collaboration to tackle the city’s challenges.
This first draft, published on Friday and set to regularly develop and evolve over the coming years, sets out targets under six priority themes: health and wellbeing, economy, homes & communities, environment, learning & skills, and connectivity.
Tackling knife crime and street violence, bringing an end to period poverty and addressing the lack of affordable childcare will be the top priorities for 2019, with the intention to focus on three new key issues each year for the next three decades.
Read more: Bristol pledges to tackle period poverty
“As a city, we are responsible for shaping and investing in our future and so the One City Plan describes the Bristol we want to live in,” said Bristol mayor Marvin Rees.
“While it’s important to recognise this is very much a first draft which will need evolving, it is most importantly the first time we have brought the city together and partners have created a long-term plan together.
“It is that commitment to collaboration that will help us succeed. We are stronger together and this plan will help everyone involved achieve new things, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts.”
The mayor added: “We know Bristol has huge potential but is held back by inequalities. Everything in our city is connected from the quality of our infrastructure and housing, to the health and opportunities for our children and citizens. We therefore need to step-up to wrestle with the toughest challenges we face today.”
Acknowledging the plan is ambitious in scope, Rees said on Friday: “We have got to have ambitions for a city. 2050 is a long way away and it’s challenging, but if we don’t do it, we get what are given. We have seen a desire for a culture of collaboration.”
Rees said that the One City plan is not a perfect finished document, but a ‘living plan’ that aims to focus collective aims for a future Bristol and recognise that different sectors and organisations – from health to economics – are interdependent.
When asked about funding, the mayor said the plan is not about money, but about a new way of doing things.
The document states that if funding is required, it is up to the city to work out “how best to facilitate this from collective resources”.
The One City Funds initiative will launch later this year and will form part of the One City approach in collaboratively pooling resources to tackle wider challenges.
Andy Street, chair of One City Funds, said: “The One City Plan is a real chance for partners to come together and create an inclusive and sustainable city where everyone has the best life chances.
“Through this commitment to joint working we will not only create a positive impact now, but pave the way for future generations to continue the journey.”
Speaking at City Hall about attracting outward investment in the city, he said that people see something happening in Bristol that is unique to the UK.
The One City vision follows work undertaken throughout 2017 and 2018 with partners and communities, with Rees unveiling first unveiling his vision for a City Office in an opinion piece for Bristol24/7 in August 2015 while still vying to be Labour’s mayoral candidate.
Boards with stakeholders from across the city will meet regularly to take the lead on achieving goals across the priority themes and monthly drop-in sessions will be held for people to have their say on different issues.
City gatherings twice a year will bring everyone together and the three key priorities for the following year will be set at the winter meeting.
The public will be able to keep track of progress via an “online dashboard” that is due to be developed soon, with the full plan available to read now at www.bristolonecity.com.