Practice case study

EcoCities project: working with academic partners (Greater Manchester)

Image: EcoCities project website graphic


It is important to gain an understanding of where extreme weather events are likely to occur and who and what are most vulnerable to it. It can help to work with a local university that may have the tools and resources to contribute to the process of developing an improved understanding of issues and responses.

Between 2008 and 2012, the University of Manchester worked jointly with partners including Bruntwood (a private sector property developer) and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA), to deliver the EcoCities project. The project was funded via charitable donation from Bruntwood and the Oglesby Charitable Trust. EcoCities built the capacity for local actors to develop climate change adaptation strategies and responses through undertaking activities which included analysing climate change scenarios for the sub-region, identifying physical and social vulnerabilities, and proposing appropriate adaptation responses. This is all brought together on one website at

Although the EcoCities website, spatial portal and other resources are based on Greater Manchester, the principles underlying its development – particularly the collaboration between the university and local authorities - are transferable to other locations.

Part of the rationale for the project was that EcoCities could inform better risk management strategies to increase the climate resilience of the city-region, which would have clear economic benefits in maintaining productivity and responding to extreme weather events.