Manchester Friends of the Earth response to Manchester City Centre strategy consultation…
Happy New Year! Just before Christmas, Manchester City Council announced the consultation on the draft City Centre Strategy (deadline 12th January).
The consultation website outlined Manchester Council’s “clear vision for the city centre and our plan outlines the development, direction of travel and priorities. It shows how key areas within the city centre could grow over the next few years, including for example: St John’s; Spinningfields; First Street; Piccadilly; Mayfield and NOMA along with the other areas that matter to you.”
Manchester Friends of the Earth welcomes the vision for Manchester as outlined in the Strategy:
“Our vision is of Manchester as a world class city as competitive as the best international cities. A City:
• That stands out as enterprising, creative and industrious;
• With highly skilled and motivated people;
• With residents living in successful neighbourhoods whose prosperity is environmentally sustainable; and
• Where all our residents can meet their full potential, are valued and secure. (Page 61)
The draft City Centre Strategy also stated that: “Our vision is being delivered through a strategy that has sought to marshal all of the city’s asset bases, not just its economic resources” (Page 61)
However, Manchester Friends of the Earth believe that, in its current state, the draft City
Centre has serious omissions and fails to marshal all the city’s assets particularly with
regard to the issues of climate change, resilience, sustainability and air quality.
The draft City Centre Strategy makes little or no reference to other key Manchester or
Greater Manchester strategies, namely:
- Climate Change Delivery and Action Plan
- Greater Manchester Climate Change Strategy (GMCCS)
- Greater Manchester Cycling Strategy.
- Interim Strategy for Cycling in Manchester 2012-13
- Greater Manchester Air Quality Action Plan.
- the forthcoming Greater Manchester Low Emissions Strategy.
- Transport Strategy for Manchester City Centre.
- Greater Manchester Transport Strategy 2040.
- Manchester’s Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.
The Manchester Friends of the response (pdf) covers the following themes and issues:
1) Climate Change and adaptation
2) Air quality and air pollution
3) Flood risk and sustainable urban drainage.
4) Trees and Green Infrastructure.
5) Cycling / Active Travel
6) Reduction in the need to travel / car parking provision.
7) Airport and aviation.
8) Family accommodation, nursery and school provision.
In conclusion, Manchester Friends of the Earth believes that the City Centre Strategy objectives need to evaluated with regard to sustainability criteria and to be aligned with Manchester City Council’s policy commitments particularly with regard to air quality, climate change / adaptation and sustainability issues.