Andy Burnham - future of cities

For me I think our future cities need to be fairer, greener and more liveable.

Sorry I can't be with you today but thank you for inviting me to offer my reflections on the future of our cities and how we get there from here.

For me I think our future cities need to be fairer, greener and more liveable. To do those things at the same time that means acting on a number of key things.

Firstly good transport. Our future cities will need clean reliable affordable and frequent public transport so people can leave the car at home. In Greater Manchester we're taking our buses back into public control so we can deliver an affordable integrated London style transport system and we are investing massively in cycling and walking infrastructure across the city region.

We need good housing. The pandemic brutally exposed the failures of a housing market that leaves too many people in our cities in overcrowded, low quality, privately rented accommodation. In Greater Manchester we have plans to build 30,000 net zero social rented homes because we recognise that a successful city region needs good quality affordable accommodation for everyone.

COVID-19 also laid bare the divide between those with a secure stable jobs and those in precarious low paid insecure work. Our future cities need an economy where people can earn a real living wage in jobs with good security behind them. In Greater Manchester we’re doing our bit to achieve this by linking public procurement to our good employment charter, sending a message that poverty pay has no place in our future economy.

And access to green spaces. We've all been reminded of the importance in recent times of building livable places and the enjoyment of green space in ensuring everyone can access it. May Field Park will be Manchester's first ever city centre park and the first Manchester park in a century. We're launching our very own highline in Castlefield and we've launched our Greater Manchester Green Spaces Fund which will prioritise projects in areas where communities experience inequalities including in their access to quality green space.