Thursday, 19 September 2013

Birmingham's Big City Plan, the Concept

Birmingham Big City Plan
Big City Masterplan, Birmingham. See it bigger

When I told my friends I was going to move to UK their first reaction was "ok, then we need a goodbye party, you must pay"... cheeky bastards...

Rotunda in 1983
Birmingham 1992
Summer Olympic Games Bid Logo
Anyway, some of them reacted a bit different asking about the city was going to be my new home: Manchester? London? Edinburgh? Bristol?... no one of them knew anything about Birmingham. The weird face they made when I said Birmingham was quickly replaced by a surprise expression as they knew it was the second city of the United Kingdom.

Obviously, I'm not the only one that has noticed that Birmingham is not well-known. Birmingham Government has tried to sort this out for years: Back in the 60s Rotunda's building was due to be a new icon worldwide known, much more later in the 80's Brum bid for the Olympics that went finally to Barcelona, and now with the Big City Plan.

So what's the Big City Plan?

The Big City Masterplan is a 20 years Strategic Plan for the city of Birmingham with the aim of creating a world class city centre. As any new urbanism plan, is focus in creating walkable spaces, green zones and an attractive city center able to project the city image and engage the visitors... But the different point about this project, the interesting thing is the magnitude.

Brum is a low density city and the city core nowadays is small. It's quite difficult to imagine the size of Birmingham just walking along New Street, so the key point is not renovating the city centre as in most of this kind projects, the main aim is to enlarge it and densify it.

There is 5 main areas, any of them more than enough for a whole blog, but don't worry, I'm not pretending to write much more in this post, but just for enumerate them:
  1. West Side: The new Central Library is just the beginning, next step Paradise Circus.
  2. Snow Hill District: It's time to enlarge the consolidated Business Core.
  3. New Street Station: The main Door re-opens soon.
  4. Eastside: Hello HSL.
  5. Southern Gateway: The new Digbeth.

Let's see if this bid is the right one!

P.S.: I don't know which of them is going to be the next one about Brum, if you have interest in any of them, just let me know ;).

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