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Better planning could boost resilience

More infrastructure projects should be planned together to make them more efficient and boost the resilience of cities, a key figure has urged.

Bristol City Council chief resilience officer Sarah Toy said a mechanism was needed for companies to link civile projects together, such as allowing water companies to maintain pipes while road upgrade works took place.

Toy pointed to the Green Streets project in Bristol, which she said started from a community campaign to put in new traffic calming measures before a water company became involved and built-in sustainable urban drainage.

“The more we can shine a light on those opportunities and take them to the willing, the better,” said Toy.

“The more you think about it, the more it seems obvious to say: ‘Why don’t we all just get together and work together to do it?’” she said.

“But there are barriers - how do you articulate the joint business case? Everyone says ‘Yes that’s really interesting,’ but nobody takes the next step. Who’s going to go away and write that business case? Who’s going to put that first amount of money into the pot?”

She is currently working to promote more schemes like this and a project in Southmead, one of the poorer areas of Bristol, to integrate flooding defences into the urban environment.  

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