Now with summary diagram showing how the policies would work to support each other.
Policies for a Socially Just & Ecologically Safe City Region, 2021
This is a contribution from Steady State Manchester to the debate about policies for the city region. In it we suggest some key ways to respond here to,
- environmental challenges including climate change, resource depletion and damage to the environment,
- deep-seated social problems including poverty, social deprivation and fragmentation,
- economic problems including debt, unemployment, austerity and instability.
We published the first edition of this paper1 in 2017 and have updated it for 2021, taking account of
- New challenges – including the evolution of the global “pancrisis”, of climate change, biodiversity loss, ecological overshoot and (as a consequence the Covid pandemic) continued economic, political and social dysfunction.
- Changes in our region, including the adoption or progression of some of the things we previously called for (a carbon budget, co-operative development, bus regulation), but also despite ambitions for a green city region with social justice, a continuation of the old economic model that prioritises speculative building, inward capital investment and expansion of the freight and aviation sectors.
Such issues need to be tackled nationally and globally as well as here in our region where we can “take back control” and devise our own solutions.
It’s a huge task and we don’t have all the answers. We’ve borrowed and built on ideas from Manchester and all over the world. We do know that we can’t carry on with business as usual. Economic growth, as conventionally understood, is part of the problem, not part of the solution. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) plans contain some good ideas but will not create the fundamental shifts we need to reduce our massive carbon footprint. Nor will they put local people in control and reduce inequalities.
These practical proposals for Greater Manchester are relevant to the work of the GM Mayor, the GM Combined Authority and the local authorities, but perhaps more so to everyone who lives or works in Greater Manchester. They cover money, work, enterprise, housing, caring for each other, democracy, inequalities and the strengths of communities as well as energy and the environment. We set out specific policy proposals and also refer to other documents we have produced setting out detailed policies, or in some cases those of other organisations. In every case we explain our thinking. We don’t always spell out the detail of policies: those who will have to implement them will want to do that, adapting them to specific contexts and needs. Our role is to point the general direction, especially where a change of direction is needed. We do, however try to provide enough clues and background, as well as sources to aid that process. We do not intend to present an exhaustive list of desirable policies, but a representative set for a Viable Greater Manchester.
1 As Policies for the City Region.