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Manchester's future - what do you think?

Manchester Confidential reveals the ten themes which might prove the key to the city’s future prosperity – or will they?

Published on August 30th 2007.

Manchester's future - what do you think?

The City Council-led brand campaign – the search for the soul, the very essence of Manchester - rolls on. And Manchester Confidential would like your thoughts.

At a July bash in the Museum of Science and Industry various Mancunian luminaries were asked in the over-the-top prose of the branding initiative, ‘where next, for the city that would make all others old fashioned?’ The idea was to explore what Manchester's brand really represents and to find out more about where the city is heading. Then a ‘wall of ideas’ was revealed: a series of ten panels (displayed below) focusing on aspects of urban life which the city might want to emphasize and target for improvement and development over the coming years. In other words what are the policy areas Manchester needs to pursue to climb into the premiership of European cities. These include transport, culture, entrepreneurship, tourism, knowledge, media, pioneering achievement, parks and environment.

These are big issues. The panels below are broad in scope, rather than concerned with detail and were arrived at through workshops with key city interest groups - Manchester Confidential was part of the 'Media' group. This work, led by the City’s creative director Peter Saville, is part of an on-going initiative examining Manchester’s place in the world, it’s future direction and how best to define itself. It follows on from the adoption of the phrase ‘original, modern city’.

Click here to read the options and vote

Click here to rant

We'd like to give our readers a chance to vote on their vision for Manchester – which areas should the city be concentrating on to ensure it prospers and grows. To read the panels click on them, you can vote for your favourite. There’s the usual rant facility to tell us whether you think that trying to grapple with the big picture is worthwhile or a waste of time…or whether any key themes have been missed. Confidential will follow up your comments with a full article in the near future. The most popular and strong vision from these ten choices will lead to the next stage of the brand campaign which will be launched in the autumn.

Type the city type you prefer and click the button to submit your vote. If text is difficult to read, click the larger image.

Submit your vote below

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Nick G'August 30th 2007.

I can't be the only one that doesn't really understand what this is all about! Has the City Council empowered Manchester Conf to collect votes for its ad campaign? Is this wise?

DeanAugust 30th 2007.

As a modern urban city it is impossible to choose just one of the 'visions for the future'. We should be aiming to achieve all of them, under the banner 'Manchester: original modern city'

Professor Rob RightAugust 30th 2007.

For culture, why have they used a picture of yhe internationally reknown musician Jameliah from Birimingham the UK's second city?Obviously shows how little culture Manchester has to offer! Although I suppose this is an improvement on the desparate attempts of using the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays from 20 years ago!

Professor Rob RightAugust 30th 2007.

Manchester, UK is the worst city in Western Europe for Gun crime - more than 55 children are killed each year in gun related incidents giving the city the name of "Gunchester".Manchester was voted the UK's THIRD city in a 2002 MORI poll. It was also voted in 2007 the worst place to live in the whole of the UK.Manchester has the highest rainfall of any city´╗┐ in the UK and is still regarded by many to be a grim decaying mill town.Manchester, the UK's third city is a disgrace!

Karen the realistAugust 30th 2007.

We need to realise that although Manchester has become this international city which in itself is madness as it cant support and sustain so many people, most of its success is actually down to its native Mancunians who originally built the city and created its foundations, so we should celebrate this more and bring this to the forefront. It should be a lush and green city (look at smoggy Japan and New York eek!)Its not a mini London and hopefully never will be although many Londoners here seem to want to steer things that way. its a shame theres so much investment from down south now. We appear to be "selling out" instead of generating our own income helping local independant businesses. our high streets are full of chains which is sad and unoriginal and sadly just stifles growth at the bottom which is where every big player starts (which Gordon Brown hasnt helped one bit) we should encourage this more and help Mancunians be proud of their city once more. No offence but we'd like to be known more for our own acheivements as Mancunians rather than live off the backs of London investment. Its a form of prostitution in my eyes....keep it lush and green and forget trying to play the big business centre! It just aint big enough to cut the mustard.

UrbisAugust 30th 2007.

As they said...all of the above. Not quite sure where the one about equality of opportunity for all, rolling out the economic success of the centre to the massively deprived periphery and all that boring economic stuff went?

johnthebriefAugust 30th 2007.

How about "Trough Manchester" where the same old cabal keeps on doing the same old same old without paying any attention to what the public actually wants. Car parking anyone? More and more soulless glass boxes destroying the character of the city?

KTAugust 30th 2007.

I'm in agreement with Dan that it is difficult to pick one as all seem important, however I think to improve our city we need to generate more business and jobs - so I think Independant City is the most important to me.

JohnAugust 30th 2007.

We absolutely should be aiming for a combination of all of these visions - all the great cities (Stockholm, Copenhagen, Munich, Barcelona etc) manage this. To an extent I agree with Karen's sentiment too though - we used to be good at making the best of our heritage (Gmex, Castle Quay etc). We have neglected the existing jewels of our city for too long - other cities would fill their Barton Arcades and St Annes Squares with quality restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating, and would allow their networks of rivers and canals to shine out as beautiful recreation spaces. Do we really need to plan massive changes when we have so much already that is wasted - it's time that the Council attended to the mundane ordinary things that could make such a difference to our lives, instead of pursuing the constant search for a big new project or radical new identity. Make the simple things great, and then allow us Mancunians to do the rest!

DeanAugust 30th 2007.

As a modern urban city it is impossible to choose just one of the 'visions for the future'. We should be aiming to achieve all of them, under the banner 'Manchester: original modern city'

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