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Belfast invites citizens to help future-proof their city

The public consultation follows the launch of a draft resilience strategy by Belfast City Council that aims to transition the city to an inclusive, low-carbon, climate-resilient economy within a generation.

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Lord mayor Daniel Baker invited comments on resilience on the "engagement tree"
Lord mayor Daniel Baker invited comments on resilience on the "engagement tree"

Citizens are being asked to share their views on how to make Belfast “future-proof”. It follows the launch of a draft resilience strategy by Belfast City Council, which focuses on climate, connectivity, and children and young people.

 

It aims to transition the Northern Ireland city to an inclusive, low-carbon, climate-resilient economy within a generation.

 

Resilience leadership

 

Lord Mayor of Belfast, councillor Daniel Baker, said the council aims to demonstrate leadership on taking the necessary actions to ensure it has a city that is resilient to future shocks and stresses, known and unexpected.

 

It recently held an event at the Portview Trade Centre in which it invited guests to comment on what resilience means to them on an "engagement tree".

 

"Resilience is a word that gets used a lot and it has been really interesting to hear from people today, from a range of backgrounds and disciplines, about what resilience means to them," he said.

 

He added: “From a council perspective, we want to be able to deliver our Belfast Agenda and that could be compromised unless we are preparing for risks, and building our resilience to be able to withstand shocks such as flooding or cyber-attacks, or stresses on our city such as the prevalence of mental ill-health in communities right across the city.”

 

As well as needing to ensure that the city’s infrastructure can cope with any future pressures, the draft document highlights the importance of building an economically resilient city and one that can bounce back from challenges. It also stresses the importance of addressing climate change and preparing for the impact it will have on Belfast.

 

“From a council perspective, we want to be able to deliver our Belfast Agenda and that could be compromised unless we are preparing for risks, and building our resilience.”

 

Councillor Baker added: “Climate change has reached a point where we need to make urgent and concerted efforts to understand and prepare for its impact."

 

He said he is encouraged by the will that exists – not just by city partners – but by communities and individuals who are committed to taking action.

 

“There are many ways we can build our resilience as a city – being flexible, creating a sense of shared ownership, being integrated and inclusive in our approach, and being resourceful when it comes to problem-solving.”

 

Members of the public can have their say on the draft resilience strategy by visiting the council’s website or by attending one of the public information and engagement sessions that are being held across the city in February and March.

 

The public consultation is open until Friday 10 April 2020 and all feedback will help to shape the final strategy document which will be published later this year.

 

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