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?