Our Rivers Our City is a partnership project working to assess the current functionality of Manchester’s local rivers and streams, and their potential to provide multiple benefits to the city and its neighbourhoods.
Throughout 2020-21, the project team will be reaching out – on social media, online and face to face – to include as many people as possible in the conversation about the future of Manchester’s River Valleys, and we need your help!
Background of the project
In 2019, Manchester declared a Climate Emergency. Our population is growing, our environment and biodiversity facing pressures from increased urbanisation and economic growth. As a global community, our current trajectory is unsustainable. We need to do things differently.
Leading the way, Manchester has already committed to using policy to inspire the actions needed to become a smarter, more sustainable and liveable city. Shaping the future of our local river valleys is part of that ambition.
For hundreds of years, the rivers flowing through our City have been central to its success – providing water for industry, for wildlife and for communities. The rivers have survived multiple challenges and continue to flow beneath houses, streets, parks and railways.
Today, the river valleys of the Irk, Medlock and Mersey include many of the city’s green spaces, connect Manchester to the wider City Region and contribute to the distinct nature of our neighbourhoods.
However, the rivers and their surrounding landscape are also the product of their past usage, and need to evolve in order to claim their rightful place in the story of Manchester’s future.
In recent years we have come to understand and recognise how essential the environment is to people’s lives, and the positive impact that access to quality green spaces, water courses and wildlife can have on our quality of life, our health and wellbeing and productivity, and how – if we work with nature – we can tackle many of our future challenges.
Our first step on this journey is to develop a long term vision and set of actions which will re-energise the City’s river valleys.
But we can’t do this alone.
We want to hear from anyone and everyone – community groups, young people, faith representatives, ‘green’ groups and businesses – people of all ages and backgrounds who live or work across the city.
Find out more about the project here: https://www.groundwork.org.uk/hubs/greatermanchester/projects/our-rivers-our-city/