Addressing the Cost of Living Crisis as One City

This morning the City Office held the 11th bi-annual City Gathering. Hosted by Andrea Dell and Sandra Meadows, over 250 individuals came together to understand what the Cost of Living Crisis looks like for Bristol and how we can meet the challenges it poses.

The City Gathering provides a vital opportunity for the private, public and voluntary sectors to come together to address a crisis that is larger than local government and has no clear solution. We cannot combat this crisis in silos, but we can capitalise on the culture of collaboration that the One City Approach has fostered to become more than the sum of our parts in the impact that we generate.

This Gathering was split into three sections focusing on:

  • the scale of the challenge locally, nationally, and internationally
  • an overview of the ongoing work on the ground in Bristol
  • how we can face this challenge together as a city over the coming year

We had a phenomenal and varied line up of speakers who highlighted how this crisis will impact every sector and everyone. The international picture was contextualised for us by Alice Charles (World Economic Forum), Robert Muggah (SecDev), and Rachel Locke (The University of San Diego) who spoke about the future challenges facing cities.

James Smith (The Resolution Foundation) and Annabel Smith (The Inclusive Growth Network) outlined the national perspective, and 20 different representatives highlighted Bristol’s local issues in the realms of health, housing, young people, refugees, and climate among others.

We were also lucky to hear from speakers such as Dominic Elison (WECIL), Sue Cohen and Diane Bunyan (Bristol Women’s Commission) and Heather Williams (Knowle West Healthy Living Centre) all of whom gave a voice to the marginalised communities who will be most impacted by the Cost of Living Crisis.

Thank you to everyone who spoke at and attended the City Gathering today and for standing up to this overwhelming challenge. If you would like to follow up on the connections made during the gathering, or contribute your own offer and ask to the city, please get in touch with Bristol City Office. I have full confidence that together we can overcome the challenges ahead as One City.