The Council and democracy Our Rivers, Our City Strategy

Vision, aims and objectives

Our Rivers Our City is the contribution of the City’s water management sector to the Our Manchester Strategy. The five main aims of Our Rivers Our City are:

  • Improving the quality and functioning of the river valleys and catchments; 
  • Ensuring river valleys and sustainable drainage are key components of new developments; 
  • Improving accessibility to the river valleys; 
  • Promoting a wider understanding of the benefits of river valleys and sustainable urban drainage; and
  • Improving flood management and risk mitigation.


Our Rivers Our City has seven strategic objectives, alongside three operational objectives. The seven objectives are:

  • Place Making and Manchester’s Economy
  • Wild Rivers
  • Clean Waters
  • Access to Water
  • Zero Carbon
  • People and Neighbourhoods
  • Sponge City

The three operational objectives are:

  • Policy and Partnerships
  • Going Digital
  • Delivery and Finance

The three operational objectives set out how the Strategy will be delivered over the first 10 years. For policy and partnerships, this means interpreting how “Integrated Water Management” is embedded into projects with:

  • Climate resilience
  • Delivering housing and a stronger greener economy
  • Enhanced environment and greenspaces

The strategy identifies that data, evidence and monitoring are a critical part of integrated water management (IWM), helping partners to engage a wide audience, agree on the priority issues and solutions, and monitor outcomes. 

The final operational aspect, Delivery and Finance, looks at how the 10 year strategy can focus on urgently addressing some deep-seated environmental problems which will constrain Manchester’s green growth. The delivery plan that accompanies the Strategy unlocks the city’s potential for investment with a focus on a green economy, an equitable society and a response to the climate and ecological emergency.

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