Our journalism needs your support! Become a member

Future of Cities

Too often, journalism focuses on problems, not solutions.

That’s why the Bristol Cable has always prioritised solutions journalism. And now with new funding from the European Journalism Centre, we will be able to investigate solutions to our city’s problems over the next year.

Bristol faces the same challenges as other cities: housing insecurity, food and fuel poverty, and unequal access to healthcare, education and transport networks. With more and more people living in cities, we need to find solutions for sustainable development. And perhaps more importantly, they need to be shared.

How can we develop cities fit for the future?

This is the question we will try to answer. The Future of Cities series will clearly set out problems our city is facing, uncover solutions from other cities and amplify grassroots solutions being pioneered closer to home, putting the people working on these solutions at the heart of the stories. To explore these solutions we will engage with experts and local communities, so there will be ways for you to get involved.

Below are the three topics that we will be focusing on, starting with how we organise space – from housing to the built environment and access to nature.

Want more solutions for Bristol?

Reporting on solutions to Bristol’s biggest problems is expensive.

We won funding to explore how to make this important work viable for a local paper like the Cable! But to keep doing it, we need funding that won’t run out: monthly-paying membership.

Becoming a member, and encouraging others to join, means we can continue investigating solutions for Bristol into the future.

Find out more

Solutions relating to food, energy and climate resillience.

Illustration: Laurence Ware

Future of Cities

Why Bristol needs to build a sustainable food system – before disaster strikes

Bristol is recognised as a leading city in sustainable food. But with international food systems creaking and the impact of climate change on the horizon, even more needs to be done.

Our new Future of Cities series explained

Solutions related to public transport

Car-free utopia or burning bollards: how can Bristol build a truly ‘liveable’ neighbourhood?

Bristol is about to restrict traffic in its first liveable neighbourhood pilot. What can the city learn from the success story of Milan's 'open squares' initiative, and the cautionary tale of Oxford's low-traffic neighbourhoods?

Taking back control: is bus franchising the route out of Bristol’s public transport chaos?

Metro Mayor Dan Norris says he is open to Bristol taking greater public control over its bus services, but he is currently lagging behind other regional leaders who are pushing ahead with reforms in an attempt to improve vital bus services.

‘The company needs to be held accountable’: Bristol passengers speak out about bus misery

Amid calls for Bristol’s struggling bus services to be franchised, passengers share their stories of failing to get to work and education on time, while some are left with no choice but to walk, get a cab or drive. 

Solutions relating to housing, the built environment and access to nature

Image of members of Redcliffe Residents' Action Group at Portwall Lane car park (credit: Alexander Turner)

Future of Cities

Bristol’s car parks take up land the size of 150 football pitches. What if they could be replaced by housing?

Across the Bristol area, hundreds of acres of space is occupied by off-street car parks. What impact could building new homes on them have on the housing crisis, and on making the city more liveable?

Small developments, big ideas: how Bristol’s community groups took housing into their own hands

Lessons from Lille, as Bristol explores rent controls to tackle its housing affordability crisis

As Bristol prepares to ask the government for extra powers to bring in rent controls, the Cable investigates what can be learned from across the channel in France, and in Scotland where reform is already in motion.

Rethinking regeneration: Could co-design help transform Bristol’s housing estates?

It’s crunch time for many of the city's post-war housing estates. Could its crop of radical co-design projects provide a model for delivering regeneration at scale?

‘Our future lies in sustainable cities’

To mark the launch of our Future of Cities series, Dr Sean Fox argues why cities like Bristol have limited powers and cash, but need to lead the way in finding a sustainable future.

Reporting that finds solutions to our biggest problems is time consuming and expensive. 

The Future of Cities project is funded by the European Journalism Centre’s Solutions Journalism Accelerator, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

We’ve been awarded funding to explore how to make this important work viable for a local paper like the Cable! But to continue this work, we need more readers to become members. 

Becoming a member, and encouraging others to join, will give us the time and space to investigate solutions that could transform Bristol.

Support our work, become a member.

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter

Get our latest stories & essential Bristol news
sent to your inbox every Saturday morning