A new methodology aimed at helping Greater Manchester deliver its growth aspirations while creating one of Europe’s most livable cities has been launched by its authors.

The GM2080 Think Tank, which is formed of international architects and urbanists Broadway Malyan, urban mobility specialists WSP, planning and socio economic experts GL Hearn and developer contractor Skanska, launched the initiative to coincide with the revised Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) as promoted by metro mayor Andy Burnham.

The GMSF will examine opportunities to deliver 250,000 new homes in the region through a greater focus on brownfield sites and a densification of the region’s existing town centres and city core.

The GM2080 Think Tank has developed a data driven methodology aimed at unlocking the dormant potential of Greater Manchester’s transit hubs and town centres by identifying those areas with the strongest development opportunities based on varied set of criteria ranging from residential density and land ownership to transit accessibility and levels of education.

Broadway Malyan Director of Urbanism Danny Crump, who has led the project for the practice, said: “Delivering excellent and livable places around integrated transit and development is a major aim for many cities as not only does this approach have significant positive impacts on life quality, it is also a key consideration in the investment decisions of institutions and developers.

“Greater Manchester is one of Europe’s fastest growing metropolis with a population set to exceed three million by 2040, generating a need for a further 200,000 new homes and 180,000 jobs over this period to sustain this level of growth.

“The commitment by the Metro Mayor to review the region’s spatial strategy combined with the arrival of high speed rail in the next 15 years offers Greater Manchester a huge opportunity to move towards a metropolitan vision that is more strategic and integrated as it strives to meet the region’s growth aspirations.”

The Think Tank’s baseline study and appraisal of Greater Manchester’s 97 railway stations suggests that all of Greater Manchester’s station areas are significantly below the UN Habitat recommendation of 150 people per hectare for sustainable, liveable urban communities.

Subsequent work compared 10 low density, category C/D train stations across a number of criteria, using the Transport Orientated Communities  matrix tool that Broadway Malyan has used on strategic development projects around the world, identifying Wigan for a full pilot study which was presented at the recent Northern Transport Summit.


Danny added: “We worked with a range of stakeholders to create a detailed pilot scheme for what we hope could be the first step in a new generation of transit focused settlements across the region.”

Richard Jones, Development Director at WSP said: “The Transit Orientated Communities approach we have developed with our partners will serve as a blueprint for transport hubs that meet much more than just transport needs, ultimately helping our Northern cities and infrastructure to be future ready, able to serve the needs of our growing population.”


“There’s a lot happening in the North and there needs to be a more focused approach to our policy-making so we can successfully attract private and public sector investment to stimulate regeneration around these key transport hubs. And this tool can help local authorities, Government bodies and private sector achieve just that. We look forward to developing this transit- oriented initiative further and take it to the next stage so that we can start delivering sustainable and connected communities where people want to live, play and work.”


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