Our latest guest blog is by Jez Sweetland, project director for the Bristol Housing Festival. Both the Homes for Heroes 100 programme and the Festival of the Future City will be making links to the festival.
We are all aware that the UK faces a crisis in relation to the affordability of housing and public services.
There is, at this unique time, an opportunity for significant and scalable change with developments in both technology and engineering but also as a result of political necessity. We need the courage to re-imagine and to re-think the future of our cities. The Bristol Housing Festival does not pretend to have all the answers from the outset, instead it intends to be a catalyst by offering the space and time for innovators and pioneers to test and refine ideas and concepts on real sites in Bristol.
We recognise that there is much to celebrate and showcase in the city of Bristol concerning housing and community development. It is the intention of the Bristol Housing Festival to highlight both the ambition and work that is already underway through partnerships, innovators, community groups, visionaries and pioneers, and also to bring new ideas and new affordable housing and community into reality.
Bristol’s ‘One City’ Approach has identified goals for Bristol to achieve by 2050 to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to flourish. Over the next five years, the Bristol Housing Festival will help enable and build prototype ideas in housing, technology and city governance with an ambition to help us discover some of the scalable solutions that are needed to achieve those goals. However, our focus is not just housing but recapturing the purpose of housing and how we create healthy and resilient communities that enable a city to thrive and grow.
I recognise this is a big vision and a huge challenge – but I also believe that Bristol is the city that can unlock this. Bristol has a history of being a pioneering city. With this heritage and our city leaders, in all spheres of our community, Bristol has the political courage to lead. We will be seeking to work across the city with experts and community groups from different areas to collaborate on agreed goals – I am optimistic that together we can make significant progress that will serve the city longer term.