Birmingham’s Big City Plan is really coming together now and, alongside the ever-longer list of new civic buildings, revitalised public areas and improved transport infrastructure, a new wave of city centre living is coming to these here shores.
The latest public realm to get a Big City Makeover is Golden Square, right in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter and, until now, nothing more than a car park on Warstone Lane. That’s hardly fitting for the city centre’s most beautiful and heritage-laden ‘hood, and this laid back urban quarter is finally on the way to seeing its little village centre get a big open space for its residents and visitors to enjoy.
Getting around the city (and in or out of it) is also well and truly on the up. New Street Station is nearing completion as a true city gateway – and finally has some natural daylight to welcome its travellers! Just outside the fancy new terminus, the new tram interchange (and trams!) will connect New Street with other parts of the city in a way not seen for decades, if at all.
Finally, that city centre lifestyle we were talking about. There is a global movement away from the suburbs with modern urbanites now wanting to be at home – as well as go out – in the centre of cities. Just look at L.A. and Oakland in the USA, and London and Manchester here at home, where many former industrial buildings are becoming large urban lofts for the hip city set. We take a look at Birmingham’s latest entrants into the foray.
It’s all coming up in the Winter 2014 edition of BRUM, available to read online here from November 10.