Creating Our Manifesto for the City

“A manifesto functions as both a statement of principles and a bold, sometimes rebellious, call to action. By causing people to evaluate the gap between those principles and their current reality, the manifesto challenges assumptions, fosters commitment, and provokes change.”

The city is changing. The world is changing. The coronavirus is a crisis like none of us have ever seen before. We do not know how it will change and re-make the world.

In light of this we are asking you to share your ideas with us and revisit our 10 aims to “re-imagine the city”.

You are invited to take a subject and write your response. Please respond in 800 words or less. We will publish your proposals on our website and host discussion of them. Please name which subject you are responding to. Email us at:

Think big. Think small. Think different. These are incredible times, so ‘old thinking’ won’t do any more. What should a post-covid city look like?


  1. [Community-led development] Promote community-led development city-wide.

What does community-led development look like in a post-covid world and how do we make it happen?

2. [Quality of Environment] Prioritise quality of environment: identify and protect land and public space held in common good; extend the parks, greenspace and biodiversity of the city; support efforts to improve air quality.

How can we maximise the quality of environment land and public space in these times and beyond?

3. [Key Assets and Services] Protect key assets like playing fields, football pitches and shared spaces; protect public assets and services.

How do we defend and extend playing fields, football pitches and shared spaces, and how do we ensure quality public services?

4. [Housing] Promote fair rents and increased public housing over holiday lets and second homes.

The short-term lets market has collapsed in the face of the virus. How do we defend and maintain this forced regulation?

5. [Tourism] Defend the city against over-tourism and commodification.

Tourism has virtually ceased, with 95% of planes grounded. How do we diversify the economy so that we no longer rely on a single one-dimensional industry, and how do we ensure zero-carbon travel in the future? How do we ensure that overtourism is avoided in the future?

6. [Community Based Learning] Promote community based learning and organising for citizens; explore the power structure that currently defines city governance.

How do we promote community based learning in covid times?

7. [International Good Practice] Learn from international examples and experience of creating participatory municipal politics.

Give examples of best practice and innovation from round Europe.

8. [The Economy] Challenge the current economic growth strategy and business-led regeneration.

How can we move away from “never-ending growth”?

9. [Festivals] Examine the impact of the festivalisation of the city and explore alternatives.

The festival has been cancelled for 2020. How do we make sure it returns in a new form that feels right, benefits the city and its citizens and is culturally rich?

10. [Transport] Promote an environmentally sustainable transport infrastructure for the city with greater priority for active travel i.e. walking and cycling and better integration of transport and land use.

Can the current crisis be used to create the transport and travel infrastructure we need to meet our social and ecological needs?

    1. Hi Michelle, not sure exactly but certainly over the next 3-6 months. We want to build up lots of ideas and then discuss them and sift the best.

  1. I definitely think airbnb should be changed. Less of them overall and they have to meet the health and safety measures that commerciAl letS have had for years. Income From airbnB should be taxed And the premises inspected before letting to ensure the safety of those renting and the impact on those living in the area.
    Do not put such an emphasis on cycling. Cyclists are often dangerous they do nOt think rules oF the Road apply to them cycling through stop lights, on the pavement, too fast and weaving in and out tRaffic. They need to be licensed and have insurance. The licence could be for the person with a licence plate thAt can be moved from bike to bike as i rEalise people Often have more than one. They must pass a Cycling test Before being allowed to cycle. Children could be allowed to cycle on pavements but not on the road unless ACCOMPANIED by a licensed adult.
    More bus stops on princes street too many were lost with the waste of money that is the trams. We have an excelleNt bus service and money should have been put into supporting less well used routes rather than the waste of extending the trams.
    To enable walking pavements need to be improved as they are very dangerous in a lot of places. The gaps between stops on princes street makes it difficult for older people and impacts on people shopping there
    Please remember not everyone can cycle or walk so cars are still very necessary as iS a good bus service. Don’T push cars out of the city, older people, diSaBled people, parents with very young children still need to use cars and have access to buses.
    Christmas festivAl Should stop until a better site is found, safety concerns addressed and there is MINIMAL impact on the environment.
    Fewer hoteLs built in the city and more control over airbnb and other places could go some way to helping the summer festivals which although i love the buzz has got a bit out of hand in the numbers of people in the city. The fringe could reduce some of the shows and there should be a system where local people can attend for a discount this should also apply to the international festival. A tourist tax could go some way to allow this to be financed.

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