Bristol’s First Citizens’ Assembly

A representative group of citizens discuss three challenging topics and make recommendations which will inform the city's plans for the future.


Bristol is a city of innovation, culture and diversity, alongside stark inequality. Six geographic areas of Bristol are in the top 1% of most deprived areas in England, with 45 in the top 10%. Social, racial and economic inequalities lead to people feeling disconnected and powerless to effect change. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this. Bristol’s first Citizens’ Assembly is an opportunity to change how citizens feel and to ensure their ideas and priorities help shape Bristol’s future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The aim of the Assembly is to gather citizens' insights, strengthen their understanding of issues, improve dialogue, increase public trust and involvement and to reboot a more resilient local democracy. Sixty randomly selected assembly members, reflective of Bristol's population, addressed three challenging topics: 1. Climate change and housing, 2. Transport, 3. Health and social care. The topics were informed by the city-wide Your City Our Future Survey, which received 6,535 responses. The assembly members heard evidence, held spirited exchange and challenged other's views - and their own - in a process they found inspirational and informative.


The Assembly’s 17 recommendations and 82 actions are being considered by the One City Economy Board and other boards and will be a key input in shaping Bristol’s future. So far, the recommendations have informed the Economic Recovery and Renewal Strategy, the refresh of the Corporate Strategy and are feeding into the 2022 refresh of the One City Plan. This One City approach will help to ensure that the assembly recommendations influence a range of public, private and voluntary partners working collaboratively to solve the complex challenges we face as a society. 

Project owner
Councillor Asher Craig
Deputy Mayor