The Big City Plan 3

The following titbits are excerpted from the City Centre Masterplan (Big City Plan) Report from Acting Strategic Director of Development at Birmingham City Council to the Cabinet meeting on the 24th November.

It should be noted the document is a draft in progress and so these ideas represent the evolving thoughts of the Big City Plan whose ambition is to transform the future of Birmingham.

City Plan, a plan for Birmingham’s city centre. city centre is the area within the Ring Road (Middleway), and covers some 800 hectares.

2.1.2 strategy of the Plan will aim to provide the conditions for City Centre to:
Grow to serve the city’s status as the UK’s second world city;

Raise the city much higher on global indices of liveability (such as the Mercer Index1); moving into the top 20 cities from its current 56th place;

Birmingham as "Water City"
City has grown around the banks of the River Rea and the canal network. theme of as a “could build from opportunities to transform these existing features and extend the imaginative use of water throughout the streets, squares, parks and buildings of the Centre with water installations and fountains.

Midland Metro
4.6.1 Centro, in partnership with Birmingham City Council, has identified four metro routes that will radiate from the city centre:

The existing Line 1 running between Snow Hill and Wolverhampton.

The planned 1 extension heading through the city centre to New Street Station then heading along Broad to terminate at Edgbaston and later at Junction 3 of the M5.

A Route to Birmingham International Airport extension running along Digbeth High street.

A route to Great Barr, using the alignment of New Town Row.

Centro has obtained a Transport Works Act Order, enabling them to progress with the extension of Line 1 along Bull Street, Corporation through Victoria Square to Broad Street. This option would require the removal of buses from Street in favour of the tram, but would not permit its full pedestrianisation. Centro predicts that this alignment will lead to major increases in Line 1 patronage simply through creating a direct Metro link to the New Gateway. To pick up further routes a one-way city centre loop is proposed to serve Southside, Eastside and Westside. (See Figure 4.1 for alternative metro routes.)

In addition to the above improvements, it would be possible to re-route buses around the city core and exclude them from Corporation Street. The aim would be to reduce bus congestion and environmental impact whilst maintaining and improving their attractiveness. Buses would use a circuit of streets on the edge of the core and serve clusters of stops at sites – on or off-street – that are well located for walking into the core itself. Significant effort will be required to make the stop/waiting areas as attractive as possible, while improved pedestrian connections and wayfinding measures would be needed to offset the loss of direct access into the core, which would be more pedestrian friendly and have an improved public realm throughout.

Spatial Structure
The spatial structure of the Big City Plan will be based on the following policy areas (see Figure 5.1):
•The Core
•Jewellery Quarter
•Gun Quarter

Southside Option S3:
Magnet Southside. A major new public square of the scale and quality of Victoria Square would be created on the site of the former moated manor. The area would also contain a lake and water feature. Southside would be come a magnet for people using the city centre and would host a wide range of activities from open air events to markets, theatres and cafes. It could also be the location of a landmark cultural building.

Westside Options
Westside Option W1:
estside as a commercial quarter. This option would encourage future commercial redevelopment within the Westside area, including higher value office, retail and leisure uses. would build on the success of Brindleyplace and capitalise on the proximity of to the legal and financial centre of the city.

Westside Option W2:
Westside as a specialist shopping area. Specialist retailing would develop further in the area, focused on the canal, The Mailbox, Cube, the area around Bridge and the NIA area. This option will encourage higher end retailing to locate in Westside, therefore consolidating the existing retail offer at the Mailbox. Cube would act as an anchor and as a springboard for future specialist retailing.

Westside Option W3:
Westside as an entertainment quarter. Broad Street would become a major entertainment boulevard. Much more commercial leisure development would be encouraged with larger scale buildings, wide pavements and vibrant advertising along the street to create the character of a brash and buzzy entertainment boulevard.

Westside Option W4:
Westside as a local centre. Broad Street and Fiveways would be the focus of the growing residential and business community and would provide a range of locally-oriented shops and services for those communities, with good links through to Park Central, Ladywood and Icknield Port Loop.

Westside Option W5:
Walking Westside. Create a tree lined avenue along the route of Suffolk Street Queensway, lined with tall buildings, to create a pedestrian friendly boulevard. This could require the removal of the slip road adjacent to the Orion Building and its replacement with a wider pavement and trees. It might even involve the removal of some of the heavy duty highway structures such as the flyover over Navigation Street. Further attention would be given to improving the pedestrian links between the Core and Westside through Paradise Circus and Holloway Head, and between Broad Street and the neighbouring residential areas. Road crossings would be ‘at grade’ wherever possible rather than via bridges and underpasses.

Eastside Options
Eastside as the learning and leisure quarter. The prime focus for Eastside would be to accommodate university expansion, with emphasis on the space needs of the universities, student accommodation, and spin off industries, including leisure uses.

Eastside as a new office quarter. would reinforce the eastern end of the linear pattern of office development which extends across the northern side of the city core. This would be a new growth area for large floorplate buildings. Connections with the city core would be improved. option would make the most of the new city park as a major recreational space for city workers.

Eastside as a residential quarter. Eastside would be developed with a substantial number of apartments in addition to its academic and business role.

Eastside as a media and creative quarter. Eastside would host Birmingham’s largest concentration of media industries.


Julie said…
I made a big career change recently and it was essential that I found a flat to rent in Birmingham which was close to my workplace. I contacted a Birmingham based estate agents called James Laurence and they were very good in helping me find a great location. I am also really impressed with Birmingham's Bull Ring as I love my shopping.

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