Bristol 2050 is an attempt to use a partipatory process, through a series of open public meetings, to plan a sustainable and fair future for our cities inhabitants.
Neither the electoral cycle or the product planning horizon are far enough away to allow us to be utopian, to hope for better futures. There is very little thinking about the medium and long term.
The people’s 2050 will try to inhabit this vacuum. It will not be a top-down document or plan that anyone tries to rigidly enforce, it will not be in that sense “The Plan”. It will simply be a conversation that develops, spawning hundreds of little plans, counter plans and, crucially, actions.
We envisage the project including things like:-
- Open Space meetings – on a variety of subjects, bringing together communities of interest, and also of place.
- Online discussions and information sharing.
- Outreach events in community centres
- Approaching many different groups to get their ideas and contributions
- Making sure that all voices are represented – all genders, sexualities, classes, abilities, ages, nationalities, faiths.
- An ‘iterative’ process. EG: After a first discussion on the theme of food, which comes up with some ideas and proposals, we go away, find out more, contact more groups, etc, then come back and discuss food again, in the light of what we’ve learned, what new participants contribute, and perhaps what’s come out of discussions on other themes.
Our hope is that not only will this come up with sensible ideas and plans, but that bringing interested people together to talk about this stuff will actually kick start lots of initiatives – big and small.
Our first event will be an Open Space meeting, discussing what we do next, in particular, how we make sure all voices are represented and identifying groups we should be reaching out to.