Bristol Housing Festival
Re-imagining better ways to live in our cities

What is the Bristol Housing Festival?

What is the Bristol Housing Festival all about?


What is the Bristol Housing Festival?

The Bristol Housing Festival is a five-year project. During this time we will: 

  1. Facilitate the building of new communities across Bristol

  2. Hold exhibitions that showcase new and existing innovation in housing

  3. Evaluate everything we do to work out what really works and what doesn’t

  4. Keep the conversation going across Bristol and beyond

The ambition of the festival is to test innovation in real life scenarios, helping to find out what works for the people of our city by providing real and lasting positive change.



We face a real and immediate housing crisis. The crisis affects the majority of people in the UK in varying ways. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution because the crisis itself is complex and made up of many different issues.

This includes:

  • Homelessness

  • Affordability

  • Loneliness

  • Inaccessible housing

  • Mental health issues

  • Environmental/Sustainability issues

  • Gentrification & Ghettoisation

However, we believe there is a reason to have hope.

Together, as the people that make up the city of Bristol, we need the courage to re-imagine and re-think, to hope for a better future. Right now, there is an opportunity to find solutions for significant change in the face of challenge.

Bristol is a city of innovation and creativity. It is a city that is prepared to stand up and lead. It is a city that punches above its weight. Let’s celebrate who we are. Let’s stand together and believe what’s possible to enable innovation in housing, investment, jobs and community – helping this city to flourish.



Our Values:
United, Generous, Courageous, Hopeful

The Bristol Housing Festival is built on a set of core values that anchor our decision making and will guide us over the next five years. The Festival is bigger than any one person, yet made of individual voices. Together we can grow our city to be the best version of itself. Join us on the journey.

The Innovation:

Over the five years we will explore four main areas of innovation:

  1. Physical Construction

  2. Technology

  3. Social Structures

  4. City Governance

Physical Construction

This includes: 

  • Modern methods of construction (MMC) and off-site manufacturing

  • Highly sustainable construction practices

  • Reduction in waste and recycling practices

  • The way land is used

  • Development of local supply chains and jobs


This includes:

  • New technologies such as AI and blockchain

  • How tech can be integrated into housing

  • How tech can assist with accessibility

Social Structures

  • Mixed communities, co-housing, intergenerational housing

  • How to avoid ghettoisation and gentrification of areas

  • Wellbeing and recovery

  • Building healthy, resilient and restorative communities

  • Celebration of our interdependence

  • Innovative solutions for: health, wellbeing, rehabilitation, loneliness, mental health issues, ageing, homelessness, etc.

City Governance

  • Working with the City Office 

  • Collaboration opportunities for businesses, social enterprises and government agencies across the city

  • True multi-agency working



The Bristol Housing Festival launched on the 19th October 2018 with an exhibition on Waterfront Square, BS1. During the 17 days the exhibition was open we welcomed 6,124 visitors to the site, hosted over 650 people at 6 evening events, showcased 32 different exhibitors, and would like to thank the team who collectively gave over 6,000 volunteer hours as well as the 20 supporters, sponsors and partners who made this possible. This event was designed to showcase some of the amazing innovations that exist in housing and community building and encourage positive conversation within the city about what might be possible over the next five years. 

‘We are at the beginning of a revolution in housing design and construction. The festival will make Bristol the centre of that revolution, not just for the UK, but possibly for the world’ 

  • Cllr Paul Smith

See more about the 2018 exhibition:

Exhibitor Directory
Festival Gallery
Launch Sponsors and Partners
Resources (talks & seminar presentation decks)