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Join the debate and help shape modern urban living

Park Street, Bristol Chris Bahn

Press release issued: 18 October 2016

People living in Bristol will have the opportunity to debate the challenges of modern urban living and help improve the city’s health, well-being and prosperity at a free event tomorrow.

The launch of the Bristol Urban ID (Integrated Diagnostics) Project will take place on Wednesday 19 October at 5 pm at the Watershed, 1 Canon’s Rd, Bristol, as part of Bristol’s Healthy City Week 2016.  

The event will bring together organisations and communities from across the Bristol urban area to address the dilemmas and issues in urban living, how we can better understand them, and how this may shape the future of our city. 

Questions that will be raised include:

  • How do we enhance citizen health and happiness? 
  • Can we create a carbon neutral city by 2050? 
  • How can we improve mobility around the city and enhance access to services and employment? 
  • How can we make the city truly inclusive and deliver equality? 

With leading keynote speakers, there will also be the opportunity for members of the public to join the debate and help shape this innovative research project. 

Dr Ges Rosenberg, Research Fellow in Engineering Systems and Design in the Department of Civil Engineering and Cabot Institute at the University of Bristol and a co-investigator on the project, said: “Cities and urban areas drive innovation, creativity and growth. In the UK, over 80 per cent of us live in urban areas, and by 2050 nearly three-quarters of the global population are projected to live in them. Therefore successful cities are critical to the future of humankind.”

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Bristol, added: “The Bristol Urban ID project is focused on the challenges facing the Bristol urban area.  The Bristol ‘pilot’ project will bring citizens together with researchers from Bristol’s two universities, both local authorities and partners from business and the third sector with the aim of developing a blueprint for the evolution of our city living.”

Professor Graham Parkhurst, Director of the Centre for Transport and Society at UWE Bristol, said: “The Bristol urban area has already demonstrated the benefits of close, integrated working between local authorities, universities, social enterprises, the voluntary sector and business organisations, but urban problems remain persistent. The Bristol Urban ID project creates the opportunity to intensify our shared responses to those problems.”

Project leaders will work with a broad set of local communities and partners to investigate the very real challenges facing the city across four areas: mobility and accessibility, health and happiness, equality and inclusion, and tackling dependency on fossil fuels.  

The Bristol Urban ID project partners includes Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council, University of Bristol, University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), Bristol Health Partnership, Bristol Cultural Partnership, Bristol Green Capital Partnership and many other local networks and organisations from the private and third sectors.

The project is funded by the UK Research Council and Innovate Urban Living Partnership programme and is one of five UK pilot projects looking at the challenges facing urban areas and how to diagnose their causes. 

Admission to the event is free but advance booking is essential through Eventbrite.

Further information

The launch of the Bristol Urban ID (Integrated Diagnostics) Project will take place on Wednesday 19 October at 5 pm at the Watershed, 1 Canon's Rd, Bristol BS1 5TX.  

The 14 core project partners are: Bristol City Council; South Gloucestershire Council; Bristol Green Capital Partnership; Bristol Health Partners; Future Cities Catapult; Royal Society for Arts (South West Region); Knowle West Media Centre; Watershed Media Centre; West of England Local Enterprise Partnership; Bristol Festival of Ideas; Arup UK; Buro Happold Limited; Business West and PwC LLP.

About Research Councils UK (RCUK)
RCUK is the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils. Our collective ambition is to ensure the UK remains the best place in the world to do research, innovate and grow business. The Research Councils are central to delivering research and innovation for economic growth and societal impact. Together, we invest £3 billion in research each year, covering all disciplines and sectors, to meet tomorrow’s challenges today. Our investments create new knowledge through: funding research excellence; responding to society’s challenges; developing skills, leadership and infrastructure; and leading the UK’s research direction. We drive innovation through: creating environments and brokering partnerships; co-delivering research and innovation with over 2,500 businesses, 1,000 of which are SMEs; and providing intelligence for policy making.

The seven Research Councils UK are:                     

About Innovate UK
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. Innovate UK works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy – delivering productivity, new jobs and exports. Our aim at Innovate UK is to keep the UK globally competitive in the race for future prosperity.

About the Cabot Institute
The University of Bristol Cabot Institute drives world-leading research on how we depend on, live with and affect our planet.  It stimulates new thinking and strives for new innovations to meet our social and environmental challenges.   Its communities focus on six crucial areas: global environmental change, food, water, low carbon energy, natural hazards and future cities and communities.  Each community is driven by outstanding academics with government, industry and society partners from across the globe.  Working together, they seek radical and integrated solutions to 21st century challenges.

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