Bristol’s pioneering One City approach to join up local governance has been awarded €100,000 by the European Commission after being shortlisted for the title of European City of Innovation 2019.

The prize is awarded to the European city best able to demonstrate its ability to implement innovative solutions to some of its most pressing challenges, while improving sustainability and involving citizens in governance and decision-making.

One City,  a unique and innovative approach to shaping and investing in the future of the city, brings together a range of public, private, voluntary and third sector partners for the shared aim of making Bristol a fair, healthy and sustainable city.

The European prize money will be used to enhance the City Office’s engagement programme with different communities across the city, and to help further develop the One City Plan as well as measuring the plan’s progress against the goals.

Bristol’s successful One City initiatives to impress judges included:

  • Bristol Housing Festival, a five year programme showcasing housing innovation and facilitating conversations about the future of urban housing and communities.
  • City Funds, a pioneering funding model to attract a wide range of funding and target towards city priorities in a strategic way.
  • City Leadership Programme which invests in the lives of high ability, high aspiration students aged 16-18 which are from disadvantaged backgrounds or groups under-represented in leadership.
  • Looking After Bristol, a project to recruit Bristol’s next 70 foster carers, launched during Fostering Fortnight.
  • Period Friendly Bristol, a city-wide project to ensure that everyone has access to sanitary products and to drive a more mature conversation about period dignity.
  • Reviewing the city’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to make Bristol more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.
  • A conference to tackle race inequality and the launch of Bristol Equality Charter

The European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) Awards received bids for the grand title from across Europe, with the French city of Nantes announced the overall winner of the €1m prize at the European Research and Innovation Conference today.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: “One City is already taking great strides forward in delivering a step change across leadership, governance and citizen participation. We know where we want to be in 2050, but our path to reaching those goals is evolving all the time as we test a whole system approach which everyone in Bristol will benefit from.

“One City is being acknowledged as world-class by an increasing number of cities around the world and the iCapital recognition continues to evidence that. This award provides the opportunity to share the One City approach with, and learn from, other European cities about their innovation activities.”

In January 2019, Mayor Rees published the One City Plan, the result of city partners collaborating and coproducing to set ambitious city-wide targets up to 2050.

James Durie, Chief Executive of Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative at Business West and one of the One City partners, said: “The city is pulling together in a way that it has never done before. The One City approach is bringing together all sorts of organisations to take a lead in creating a stronger set of communities and economy. Whilst we are a city built on working in partnership this has enabled us to step up to another level.

“The success and recognition of securing this 100,000 Euro award is fantastic news and will make a significant difference to us making further progress, and we now look forward to the final announcement at the end of the month.”