“Historically, our waterways were fundamental to Manchester’s rise to economic power. They remain at the heart of what makes the city tick.”
Manchester City Council
Manchester has long been an economic powerhouse in the North, and its waterways were fundamental to its successful growth and remain at the heart of what makes the city tick. Manchester’s blue infrastructure is crucial to its “liveability” and vital economic assets, creating a setting for investment and family life.
Manchester is at the heart of new initiatives to manage water in an integrated way. The Irwell and Upper Mersey catchment partnerships are the latest innovative approach to integrated management, bringing together a wide range of public, private and third sector organisations to work collaboratively in designing and delivering enhancements to our rivers for people and wildlife.
In 2019, TEP was commissioned to develop a strategic vision for Manchester’s River Valleys focussing on 7 key areas including People and Neighbourhoods, Zero Carbon, Sponge City, Access to Water, Clean Water, Wild Rivers and Place-Making. The 10-year vision, set out in a strategy, compiles over 80 targeted, collaborative actions for revisiting the city’s blue infrastructure.
GIS spatial analysis played a critical role in the development of the strategy, establishing the evidence base, providing decision-makers with access to data and identifying opportunities for improvements. Data, evidence, and monitoring are a critical part of integrated water management, helping partners to engage a wide audience, agree on the priority issues and solutions, and monitor outcomes.
The growing availability of open data and the increasing power of cloud computing offer huge potential for managing flood risk, tackling pollution, and engaging citizens. To support the project and provide access to data and intelligence, The Our Rivers Our City webmap has been developed to support the strategy. It contains a multitude of environmental datasets which will in due course become available on MappingGM.
To read more about the Our Rivers, Our City project click here.