Future Shock: The Resilient City

 

A timely debate organised by CityCo and chaired by Dr Paul O’Hare of Manchester Metropolitan University.

 

Taking place on 27th July, this CityCo debate explored urban resilience, a phrase used to describe how well a city responds to modern day challenges such as changing technology, terrorism and security threats, hazardous materials, social disorder, climate change, extreme weather events and health pandemics.  Greater Manchester is a member of the Rockefeller Institute’s 100 Resilient Cities network and has pledged to be a leader in the area of urban resilience, so the city was a fitting host to the debate.

Fellow of the IPM, Dr Paul O'Hare started the debate off by outlining how the discussions would look at both the major threats and opportunities for the city.  Speakers included DCS Dominic Scally, from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, who worked as police office during both 2001 Riots and IRA bombings; Councillor Beth Knowles; futurist Mike Ryan and Dr Sarah Lindley of the University of Manchester.

Many topics were covered at the event including tackling homelessness in the city, the role of CCTV and other technology, and the response to the bomb at the Manchester Arena. Delegates saw the event as an important opportunity to discuss how Greater Manchester can be better prepared for the range of disruptions that the conurbation might face in the future. By drawing together a range of experts the event provided a forum to assess the shocks that the city will face in the future. Speakers discussed their own work in response to these threats, and noted the business sector’s role in responding to these challenges.

Dr Paul O'Hare, who chaired the event concluded "shocks, whilst an almost inevitability, can be planned for. Not only that, they can become opportunities to not just bounce back, but to bounce forward, leaving us truly more resilient to whatever the future may hold".