GMLEP white paper sets out future green vision for Greater Manchester

Jul 25, 2021 | Green Innovation

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Illustration by Barney Ibbotson

A new white paper from the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership has been published to answer the big questions around the future of our cities, and their contributions to climate.

‘Material Gains: Building Better Cities for People and the Planet’ imagines Greater Manchester in 2038 – a city-region enabled by low carbon economic growth, aided by advanced materials and initiatives benefiting the Northern community with socio-economic benefits.

The futuristic vision includes the views of leading commentators from the fields of science, industry, and academia, including voices from The University of Manchester, MIDAS, Graphene@Manchester, and two businesses innovating in the region.

The paper explores topics and businesses innovating in green technologies, including:

  • Vertical farming
  • Graphene for lighter electric vehicles
  • A solution to water scarcity in lesser developed countries
  • Electric vehicle ‘SuperBattery’ with a 15-second charge time

In a foreword, Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, Lou Cordwell, outlines the collective vision for a greener future as set out by the panellists:

“By 2038, they suggest a future of vertical urban farms; rainwater purification units utilising graphene membranes; road surfaces which defy potholes and charge the batteries in the driverless lightweight vehicles which pass along them.


“The air is clean, and people have vast array of career opportunities in innovative industries that have not yet been imagined. Transportation is net carbon neutral, integrated, affordable and efficient. The cityscape remains familiar but incredible new architectural structures are possible due to enhance building materials.”

The document captures some of the insight and intelligence provided by key thinkers and is intended to stimulate further conversation about Greater Manchester’s role in influencing the future for global cities, imagining a new future of skilled jobs and economic benefits.

The white paper includes a new illustration from Manchester illustrator Barney Ibbotson, detailing some of the changes we might see in the city region by 2038. It was produced in partnership with MIDAS, Greater Manchester inward investment agency, and Graphene@Manchester, part of The University of Manchester.

To read ‘Material Gains: Building Better Cities for People and the Planet’ in full, click here.

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