Platform. The everyday portal for sharing knowledge and intelligence on sustainability across Greater Manchester.

Comparative Urban Futures: Spatial Networks for Sustainable Urban Development

Greater Manchester is not an island. A number of academic and policy studies have highlighted how cities responses to the challenges of sustainability are shaped by a broader set of national-local and city-city relationships.  Since the new Coalition government in the UK in 2010, relationships between national government and cities have been reshaped. What are the consequences of these changes? How important are cities’ broader spatial networked relationships for how they address sustainable urban development (SUD)? What value is there in learning between and across different urban responses to sustainability in 21st Century Britain?

78 steps wholefood shop. Photo by Debbie Ellen.

It’s all about food

Some of the hottest tickets during this years Manchester International Festival (MIF) have been for events and talks at The Biospheric Project, with 2,500 tickets sold out within 3 hours of being made available. The Project has transformed a 3 storey mill in Salford into a thriving urban research and community food production hub. Once the Festival ends, the work will continue under the direction of Vincent Walsh, who showed Platform’s Debbie Ellen around the building.

Renewed efforts to bridge a digital divide

Last month Manchester’s free internet service, the _FreebeeMCR network,  expanded across the city, with  WiFi access now available at key city centre transport hubs, too. But what more can the city do to bridge the so-called ‘digital divide’ and ensure that all Mancunians benefit from the city’s digital success?

The Greater Manchester Local Interaction Platform

Beth Perry of the University of Salford introduces the work being carried out, supported by Mistra Urban Futures, to create Local Interaction Platform for Greater Manchester, dedicated to a fairer, greener and denser city.

Keith Williamson [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The dynamics of diversity across Greater Manchester

According to research by the University of Manchester, ethnically diverse areas are more likely to be healthier and the residents are less likely to experience discrimination, and one area of Greater Manchester could rank as one of the most diverse in the world.

Spotlight: Manchester's new Health and Wellbeing Board

As official figures released this week show residents in the North West are the most likely to die early, Helen Carter takes a look at a new statutory committee, the Manchester Health and Wellbeing Board, which was established in April this year.

The increasing risk of extreme weather and climate change: EcoCities report

The University of Manchester's EcoCities team have produced an analysis of the risks of extreme weather and climate change for Greater Manchester over the coming century.

Perspectives essay: social arts, creative flux and citizen led innovation

Professor Paul Haywood from the University of Salford argues that the domination of public  engagement and public funding by an increasingly professionalised creative sector has unintentionally forced citizens to find increasingly deviant and imaginative ways of preserving and promoting their own cultural enterprise (activism).

Turn Up the Volume: Local Action in an Era of Localism

What does localism mean for local communities and what, in particular, does it mean for disadvantaged local communities who've felt the brunt of austerity and welfare cuts?  Alex Wharton summarises the main arguments made by speakers at a one-day research workshop at The Open University.

Cranes and cheery pickers on the Manchester skyline

Perspectives Essay: Manchester – A Sustainable Future

In this Perspectives Essay, the Leader of Manchester City Council, Richard Leese, argues that for the foreseeable future a healthy, sustainable future for Manchester and, by association, Greater Manchester depends on maintaining a growth trajectory. This is not growth at any cost. The city should continue to be capable of sustaining human life in a socially acceptable and civilised way. Drawing on evidence from the city’s recent history of urban development, he concludes that Manchester is going in the right direction, and that the city-region is taking the right approach, building consensus and taking people with it, but that the pace of change needs to quicken.

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