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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I am 16 years old and I am new to the forum, having discovered it off another forum.

I've been into architecture since I was 11 years old, truly inspired. Partly from taking yearly trips to Hong Kong and seeing the skyline etc overthere blew me away.

I just want to see your view on the regeneration of Birmingham at the moment, are we going through a phase like we did 40 years ago which Birmingham was named a concrete city.

The skyline and buildings of Birmingham are improving everyday, I'm proud to be living in Birmingham myself and I am very excited for the redevelopment stage and I hope to keep tabs on it on this forum.

I feel it is good for the city, if it brings more tourists etc to the city. Just good in general, but do you agree? I do feel that too many flats are being built but overall impressed.
 

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Welcome :hi:

I do agree to some extent about all the flats, but if people are still buying then there is still a demand for them.

P.S watch yourself on here, it gets very addictive lol
 

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Simples
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Welcome to the forum Arctic (Monkeys?)

I think the question you are asking is this if i am not wrong. How does the level/quality of regeneration of the city compare to the 1960 & 70s?

Thankfully i am not old enough to remember the 1960s but i am old enough to have seen it's legacy...growing up in the 80s / 90s

I suppose we are in the 3rd age of Birmingham (as a city) now. IE Victorian city, Modernist city, and the Regenerated city. I think that is the level of change we are seeing in Birmingham now over time something comparable in scale of changes to the city as both the previous eras.

Funnily enough i would mark the start of that age as about the year you were born when the ICC opened (about 1991) and kick started the regeneration of the canals and Brindley Place... but it didn't really kick on until the mid 1990s when the council started to remove so many of the underpasses/subways that were littered around Brum and to pedestrian key areas like High St adn most importantly New St.. i remember when the Buses used to stop on New st.. it was horrid and congested back then.

When you consider the scale of changes that have taken place in the last 15 years and you look ahead to those planned for the next 15 then i think this period in Birmingham's history sits comfortably alongside the two previosu generations as somehting that is Historically important.


Enough of an essay answer this now. I think we are all keen on Regeneration on this forum and generally the Brum & UK forums day to day are more about Regeneration than tall buildings which really is the point of the forums as a whole

BTW i am quite keen on as many apartments as possible for 3 reasons:
1) More investment / physical regeneration of the city
2) Greater housing opportunities for a young population (retention of young talented people is important for loads of obvious reasons)
3) Sustainable living. People who live in the city centre are far less likely to own cars adding to pollution, adding to the morning evening congestion that is very costly to everyone.

Hope you enjoy contributing to the site
 

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Of course there is ONE BIG DIFFERENCE when you take into account the regeneration of the city as it is happening (or has been happening) in recent years compared to the way it was happening back in the 1950s and 1960s.

And that is: the roads* are given much less priority now - with provision for pedestrians and so-called "public realms" (even though I hate that term with a vengeance) being all the rage. THAT* will be a mistake Birmingham planners are hellbent on never ever repeating again - hence the propensity for eradicating (or restricting) as much of the city centre road network as possible, making the routes much less attractive to motor cars.

It appears Birmingham, more than any other UK city, has become so hyper sensitive and aware of its 1960s concrete errors of judgement that now it appears to be going to the opposite extreme in an attempt to atone for its earlier mistakes.

Brum is no longer going to be a car-friendly city anymore. That much is certain.

The seemingly unstoppable boom in retail, leisure and living spaces, on the other hand, is still apparently buoyant but of course it will be dictated fairly and squarely by whatever shifts in trends and patterns begin to emerge, courtesy of that old chestnut "market forces".

To be fair, Brum has always been going through a renaissance - for the past 20 years or so (think Brindleyplace) - but it only appears to have upped the tempo in recent years as a result of the countrywide explosion in city centre living becoming an attractive economic proposition....

Welcome to the forum BTW!
 

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I just want to see your view on the regeneration of Birmingham at the moment, are we going through a phase like we did 40 years ago which Birmingham was named a concrete city.
:hi: arctic. I came to Birmingham 10 years ago and It was dirty, honest and beated like a drum. It's just much cleaner now but people I've found people are proud of where their from.

All my friebnds and colleages used to say "what's it going to be like in a couple of years time"

Since I've been here I've seen the filling in of the underpasses, a renaisance in civic pride wiith people wanting to live in the city centre, the delivery of brindleyplace and the bullring, and (what I percieve) the informed widespread acknoledgement of the past & the future from a global, european, national and regional context.
 

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lime-hating shrublet
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Brum is no longer going to be a car-friendly city anymore. That much is certain.
I find it relatively car-friendly still. I can drive into Birmingham within half-an-hour from where I live and park dead easy on that car park nearish the ICC for a cheapish price. I even once got my pay & display ticket straight after Midlands Today presenter Kay Alexander got hers. Now that's what I call car-friendly! :happy:

Welcome btw thearcticarmy. :wave:
 

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ex-pat Brummie
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The flats issue really is a result of the changing deomographics of the population - sorry that sounds very pretentious!

When Symphony Court was built in the early 90's as a trailblazer for the city, loads of people I knew scoffed at the idea - "who would want to live in the city centre etc etc". My brother in law nearly bought one - for £70K - but didn't cause he thought it would be a bad investement!!!!!

Nowadays, there are many more single people as a result of more broken marriages, a lot of the wealthy brigade have adopted the Spanish style of "big country house + small city pad" and younger people have more money than they did (generally) 20-30 years ago and can therefore afford places - if they are small - hence the explosion in studios etc.

At least this is what the experts tell us. What the hell would I know!:)
 

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ex-pat Brummie
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ALSO:

As a few of the others have said, the biggest transformation is the obliteration of those awful subways.

I remember when the Council commissioned a US firm to come up with proposals and they were published in the Evening Mail.

I was as much a case of :banana: :banana: :banana: as Snow Hill is today.

I hated the dark, stinking subways at Smallbrook Queensway/Hill St and at Bull Street/Corpo st with a passion. You'd go under them and they had these horrible plastic/rubber floors, always stank of p*** and had these horrible little kiosks. Yuk!

There was more of these at Colmore Circus. Horrible!

Old Square was just appalling. A sunken hole, with a few shops around the outside, all with buses and lorries and cars driving over the top of them.:bash: :bash:

Manzoni and his crew at their very worst.

And that's not half of it. The old Bull Ring & St Martins Circus. :bash:

Masshouse Circus. :bash:

Paradise Circus. :bash:
 

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Change is Here!
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Yeah. I vaguely remember the Bull St. Hump and Colmore Circus from when I first moved here.

I remember thinking "why have I moved here?" but the difference in the city centre today is staggering.

I do share the concern about there being a lot of appartments going up in the city. But, in time that may simply cause more office developments to come to the city, because of the population. Maybe? :dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, my username does refer to the arctic monkeys.

And what development is everyone looking forward to at the moment?

Has to be Broad Street Tower. What are your views towards the height of these buildings? I understand about 9/11 but it would be great if buildings like the Raddison was taller so it would change the skyline.
 

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Fus-Ro-Dah!
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Brum is no longer going to be a car-friendly city anymore. That much is certain.
Thank god for that. Places being car-frindly was the worst thing that C20th planners did.

Welcome Arctic. I'm most looking forward to Snowhill and the new park.
 

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It's Sting. So What?
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Hey Arctic :hi:, welcome!

I am most looking forward to Snow Hill, Arena Central and Ventureast :Yes:. They'll be awesome when done!
 

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Simples
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Most looking forward to Snow hill, Eastside city park and Cube
 

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Welcome!

Best projects in the pipeline IMO are, Arena Central, Snow Hill and City Park Gate I have no doubt however that V.T.P will soon become quite alot of peoples favourite in the coming months :)
 

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Brummie Angeleno
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Hi Arctic, I remember the second wave of modern regeneration that started around 20 years ago, when the demolition of most of Broad St's north-sided buildings made way for the ICC, Symphony Hall, the Water's Edge, and initially the Novotel. The other side of Broad St was the Hyatt. This coupled with on-going news of the new Bull Ring and The Arcadian construction, made Brum the envy of all the provincial cities (this seems to be forgotten about now on the City threads).
I am really looking forward to Snow Hill, Eastside, Cube, AC / V, and Five Ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If I go back to the topic I originally started about Birmingham being a concrete city 40 years ago, I can't really judge on that seeing as I've only been alive 16 years so I'm only know that from news and sources.

But I'm excited for the new regeneration of Birmingham, just been today. Quite excited now for Snow Hill by hows that turning out.

And The park at East side, as there is currently little grass around Birmingham.


But I want to ask you this question, is it true that you don't have to go far for Birmingham to become crap again?
 

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Fus-Ro-Dah!
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Do you mean how the inner city is still deprived? Thats true to some extent in theory the benefits of regenerating the city centre are supposed to filter out to the rest of the city, in practice, well its still a work in progress.
 

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Do you mean visiting another city for Birmingham to feel second class?

not for me really, loads of places have great developments, and many things which i wish Brum had, but for me Brum always has that special feel to it, it home, and it always will be (until im in my mind 40s, where i shall be retiring to Ireland)
 
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