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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Think over the coming months and years this might need its own thread. This is quite major news for Birmingham and the UK.

Birmingham boldly goes for total revamp
Lisa Pilkington18/04/2006 09:00


The UK's second city is to hire a team to plan the redevelopment of its whole city centre.

Birmingham council is shortly to advertise in OJEU seeking a masterplanner to draw up a 10-year strategy for development within the city's middle ring road.

This is an area of 2,000 acres, making it the biggest masterplanning exercise in the UK for decades.

Architects such as Terry Farrell & Partners and HOK which have experience of masterplanning for large cities are expected to apply, and would be likely to bring in transport and development consultants at a later stage.

Clive Dutton, director of planning and regeneration at Birmingham council, said: "We want to focus on the 800ha within the middle ring road and want to be proactive rather than reactive about the regeneration.

"The masterplan must improve design and the public realm, and address how to interconnect the city centre and make it more cohesive by providing a new transport model.


"There are two parts to this exercise. The first is strategic and the latter will be more detailed. The first element will influence the second."

Birmingham's initiative comes as the future of the UK's cities as engines of economic growth moves higher up the government's agenda.

ODPM minister of communities and local government David Miliband is expected to publish a white paper this summer.

Garry Colligan, head of urban design at Terry Farrell & Partners, said: "Masterplans have been done for other cities, such as Manchester, after the IRA bombing [in 1996], and in Derby, Liverpool and Sheffield. But this is much bigger it's a very bold move.

"However, it's part of a trend. Cities are saying to themselves, 'we need to take a more proactive role in design and development planning.' Farrell is definitely interested in applying."

According to Dutton, Birmingham wants to have consultants in place by early summer, ready to start work in the autumn.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can just imagine it now - Eastside just 5 times bigger :runaway:

P.S We might see the Paradise Circus masterplan sooner rather then later with maybe a 200m included ;) Having AC as a little sister would be pretty awesome.
 

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start work by autumn then?

certainly not hanging around this must mean the designs have alreadys started?

come on give Manchester and London a scare
 

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Simples
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I like the idea of bringing in international expereince for the Masterplan but kinda hope a lot of work can be done in-house at B'ham planning too as they will be best placed to know what the priorites for the rest of the city are that the city centre is there to support.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I dont think we shall see any construction until 2010 at the earliest but we should see what they plan to do with such sites as BT, Paradise Circus, Holloway Corner etc.

I would've thought a minimum of 5 - 150m+ towers as a bare minimum considering Manchesters boom since there masterplan was thought up.

Interesting times indeed :)
 

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well i hope they don't jump into this headlong before they can walk. Masterplans are all very nice when given the correct amount of thought; but I don't want another masterplan for Birmingham of 40 years ago when they "transformed" the city into an ugly, uneven and unfriendly place with its emphasis on ring roads, appalling shopping centres, dingy subways and fairly horrid office buildings.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sonny97 said:
well i hope they don't jump into this headlong before they can walk. Masterplans are all very nice when given the correct amount of thought; but I don't want another masterplan for Birmingham of 40 years ago when they "transformed" the city into an ugly, uneven and unfriendly place with its emphasis on ring roads, appalling shopping centres, dingy subways and fairly horrid office buildings.
The way cities are growing the likelyhood is anything thats built now will come down in 40-50 years ;)
 

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Second Citizen
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NO NO NO!!!

This is only masterplanning, not designing buildings. Stuff like roads, trams, railways. And "this should be commerical zone" "this is good for tall buildings" "this should be open and green" "this should have sightlines to the cathedral" "this should be largely residential with an emphasis on families" etc etc.

The masterplan might say that no talls should go at Paradise ;)
 

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And this masterplanning comes on top of national expertise in urban design strategies,

"In the United Kingdom, the best known design strategy - the 'City of Birmingham, City Centre Design Strategy' (Tibbalds et al., 1990) - provides a case in point..." (Layard et al (eds), 2001, p.176 : Planning for a sustainable future).

It was also a benchmark of planning:
"This kind of analysis provided a much better basis for design briefing and the formulation of design policy than had previously existed in England" (Punter, 1999, p.146 : British Planning, 50 Years of Urban and Regional Policy).
 

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One thing I think they will deal with is the various 60's super-estates around the place, So Highgate, Newtown, Ladywood could all be seriously looked at (I know the city is already considering the future of the Ladywood estate in years rather than decades...
 

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Stel
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interesting read

Firms queue up to remake Brum
21 April 2006

Make and Farrells show interest in city masterplan

By Marguerite Lazell

Birmingham City Council is looking for a masterplanner to create a blueprint to transform the city centre over the next 10 years, in what would be the biggest project of its kind in the UK.

Leading architects including Make - which is already masterplanning the City Park Gate scheme - and Terry Farrell & Partners have already expressed an interest in the mammoth commission.

The council was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press but is expected to issue an Ojeu notice for the 800ha site shortly.

Make's Paul Scott, who is based in Birmingham, said "without a doubt" Make would apply for the job. "It's an opportunity to revitalise the city and allow cultural and business facilities to flourish," he said. "The worst thing that can happen is piecemeal development. Get the big picture right and everything flows from there."

Another Birmingham-based architect, Glenn Howells, echoed Scott's thoughts, saying a plan was needed to make developments in Birmingham greater than the sum of their parts. "Other cities have demonstrated that this degree of vision is critical in securing the long term future," he said.

Farrells' head of urban design Garry Colligan said the job was of interest to them, but warned against getting bogged down in detail. "You can't prescribe every detail, you have to get the balance of creating a framework to guide development without being too restrictive."

Birmingham city centre is confined by the smallest of three concentric ring roads. Paul Scott said that the success of the masterplan would hinge on being able to break down those barriers.

"The city centre needs to embrace the next layer out, then you get the critical mass to make it comparable to Manchester or Liverpool," he said.

Last month Make was appointed to the City Park Gate project after the Richard Rogers Partnership quit the scheme following protracted rows over its designs for a new library in Birmingham
 

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"Birmingham city centre is confined by the smallest of three concentric ring roads."

How old is this?

"The city centre needs to embrace the next layer out, then you get the critical mass to make it comparable to Manchester or Liverpool,"

Liverpool is Smaller, They're not much up the hill from Lime Street, a couple of shops up London Road, but not Much until you're into The University/Royal, and down from there it's at most 1.5 miles to the mersey, Birmingham city Centre runs from 5 Ways to Aston University.
 

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I think Birminghams compact centre is a real boon for the City, it is clear, legible, compact and walkable, and I also don't necessarily agree Manchester or Liverpool have achieved that Critical Mass, I went to Manchester resently for a confernce and saw lots of regeneration, but was also shocked to see loads of derelict buildings slap bang in the centre, Having lived in Liverpool, I would have to say it is even worse.

Birmingham must reach out to the middle Ring Road, but it needs to walk not run, Regeneration will happen all by itself! What it needs to make sure happens is that new sub-centres are created in the City centre and that everywher is connected by attractive walkable streets, thats it.
 

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do you reakon it would be feasable to bulldose the whole of Ladywood, and rehouse everyone, thus allowing for more offices/hotels to be built there instead.

It could be a success like when they built the ICC on the derelict land on Broad street. At the time eveyone thought it was madness, but look how it injected money and life into that area!

But to re-house all those people, we would need to nuild a whole new suburb somewhere!
 

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I think the truth is that the process has already started, the enormous towerblocks of Ladywood are already being vacated slowly, while my experience says the age and construction of the buildings probably means they are coming to the end of their useful lives anyway.

I agree with Gaz in that I think if this estate were removed it would be one of the more sustainably developable areas of the City, problem is transport still isnt great!
 

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MJH said:
I think Birminghams compact centre is a real boon for the City, it is clear, legible, compact and walkable, and I also don't necessarily agree Manchester or Liverpool have achieved that Critical Mass, I went to Manchester resently for a confernce and saw lots of regeneration, but was also shocked to see loads of derelict buildings slap bang in the centre, Having lived in Liverpool, I would have to say it is even worse.

Birmingham must reach out to the middle Ring Road, but it needs to walk not run, Regeneration will happen all by itself! What it needs to make sure happens is that new sub-centres are created in the City centre and that everywher is connected by attractive walkable streets, thats it.
I like Birmingham's nucleated centre too, but it was artificially small, constrained by the Queensway. We can see that where the Queensway has been dismantled or over-sailed, regeneration has spread. I think the centre is now aiming to be the "city" centre for Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country. The regeneration is spreading in a fairly organic way - the new stuff happens along the radial routes and then spreads to join up - we can see this with Broad St, Bath Row and Bristol St.

I think the truth is that the process has already started, the enormous towerblocks of Ladywood are already being vacated slowly, while my experience says the age and construction of the buildings probably means they are coming to the end of their useful lives anyway.
I think the council has seen what a deterrant these estates are, and certainly will have £ signs in their eyes in terms of development potential. And you are spot on about the end of useful lives - they are not relocating people because WANT to, but because they HAVE to. Honest ;) A good trick is to find a fundamental flaw in the design that they have ignored for the past 30 years....
 

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malu cachu
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Stephen Robinson said:
"Birmingham city centre is confined by the smallest of three concentric ring roads."

How old is this?

"The city centre needs to embrace the next layer out, then you get the critical mass to make it comparable to Manchester or Liverpool,"

Liverpool is Smaller, They're not much up the hill from Lime Street, a couple of shops up London Road, but not Much until you're into The University/Royal, and down from there it's at most 1.5 miles to the mersey, Birmingham city Centre runs from 5 Ways to Aston University.
Not wanting to get all Earlybird about this, but Fatty Prescott's department have been doing some work on this because they have a policy of defending town centres against out-of-town developments, and they suddenly realised that they couldn't measure how well they were doing because they didn't know what a town centre was.

The result was the "Town Centre Boundaries and Statistics Project" (http://www.iggi.gov.uk/towncent/index.htm) that tried to measure and define borders for what it called "Areas of Town Centre Activity" according to a combination of factors such as density, land use and employment type.

Most of the ones it came up with conformed pretty much to what you'd expect... (nb, maps aren't all to the same scale)

Central London - http://www.iggi.gov.uk/towncent/2002/London/195.htm
Liverpool - http://www.iggi.gov.uk/towncent/2002/North_West/556.htm
Leeds - http://www.iggi.gov.uk/towncent/2002/Yorkshire_and_the_Humber/536.htm
Manchester - http://www.iggi.gov.uk/towncent/2002/North_West/591.htm
Newcastle - http://www.iggi.gov.uk/towncent/2002/North_East/649.htm


This is what it came up with for Birmingham...

(http://www.iggi.gov.uk/towncent/2002/West_Midlands/99.htm)

Bit of work to do on the Eastside there...
 
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