Bristol is set to launch a new initiative which will explore innovative solutions to the UK’s housing crisis. The launch event will be an exhibition running from 19th October to 4th November in Bristol’s Waterfront Square, featuring full size concept houses and scale models. Supported by Bristol City Council, Bristol and Bath Regional Capital and the Shaftesbury Partnership, the launch event will be the start of a longer term ‘festival’ that will showcase innovation for housing and communities on sites across the city. Various new communities will be commissioned, funded and built across Bristol. Its goal is to develop scalable and long-term solutions to support local government to create housing, places and communities that engender hope and wellbeing.
Jez Sweetland, Project lead for the Bristol Housing Festival, said: “Inspired by the Great Exhibition of 1851, the Bristol Housing Festival is a initiative of Bristol One City, and will launch in October 2018, to coincide with Bristol acting as host to the Global Parliament of Mayor’s Annual Summit. “The UK faces a crisis in the affordability of housing and public services. Simply ‘doing more with less’ is no longer tenable. Instead, we need the courage to re-imagine and to re-think the future of our cities to enable everyone to have opportunity to flourish in Bristol - there is opportunity for significant and scalable change.
"The Festival does not pretend to have the answers from the outset, instead it will offer the space and time for innovators to test and refine ideas on real sites in Bristol. “There is much to celebrate and showcase in the city concerning housing and community development. It is the intention of the Bristol Housing Festival to highlight both the ambition and work that is already underway through partnerships, innovators, community groups, visionaries and pioneers, and also to bring new ideas and new affordable housing and community into reality." Councillor Paul Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We are at the beginning of a revolution in housing design and construction. The Festival will make Bristol the centre of that revolution, not just for the UK, but possibly for the world.” Edward Rowberry, CEO Bristol and Bath Regional Capital, said: “We need a revolution in housing design and construction, however we also need to transform housing finance and affordability. BBRC is at the forefront of developing new ways of paying for the housing that people need, and the Bristol Housing Festival is a great way to showcase and test these ideas.” Lord Wei of Shoreditch, founding member of the Shaftesbury Partnership, said: “We are delighted that the Shaftesbury Partnership is to be a part of helping get the Festival launched and to have inspired its creation. It once again puts Bristol at the forefront of social innovation at a time when cities all over the UK and the world are looking for solutions to better support the needs of citizens and communities. We look forward to partnering with all stakeholders to help bring the project to life.” The Festival will act as an incubator to road-test in a real-world scenario both existing concepts and innovative solutions designed to accelerate the delivery of quality, affordable housing.
These will include exploring smart technology and off-site manufacturing. The Festival will also highlight the ambition and work that is already underway in the city through partnerships, innovators, community groups and pioneers. More information on the Festival will be released in the run-up to launch, including details on exhibitors, sponsors and other events. Visit www.bristolhousingfestival.org.uk to find out more.