With Birmingham and the Midlands undergoing a period of sustained growth, a new report into attitudes to development in Birmingham reveals what the city’s residents really think about its changing landscape – and asks what more the industry can do to deliver responsible and inclusive development here and elsewhere.
Birmingham is booming. The city has the fastest growing economy outside of the East and South East, with the promise of high-profile projects such as HS2, the West Midlands Metro expansion and the 2022 Commonwealth Games all combining to form a time of unparalleled excitement for the region.
In theory, there has scarcely been a better time to live in Birmingham. Yet the interim phase of development in which the city finds itself – set between concept and delivery – can be a tricky one to navigate.
Inclusive development for the second city
Earlier this year, Copper set about gauging public attitudes to development in Birmingham, to find out how people who live, work and study in the city feel about the changes taking place.
We asked 1,000 residents what they were excited about, what concerns they had, and what benefits they would like to come from the changing face of the city. The results were enlightening:
- Almost three-quarters said they were optimistic about the city’s future
- More than half said they would describe Birmingham’s economy as growing
- The 2022 Commonwealth Games is the city’s most exciting development
- Two-thirds said their daily life was affected by road or construction works
- 20% of respondents were worried about the effect on the city’s heritage
- Over 50% did not feel that they were benefitting from the changes taking place in Birmingham
- 50% said that the industry wasn’t engaging with people enough
Armed with this data and more, we teamed up with global consultancy Turner & Townsend, to gather leading figures from the city’s public and private sectors at a roundtable event designed to establish what those in the industry are doing to involve people from Birmingham in its development – and ask what more can be done.
The result is our latest report, Is Birmingham Booming for Everybody?. Combining survey data with the thoughts and views of industry leaders from across Birmingham, the report identifies the need for responsible and inclusive development within the city and sets out a series of recommendations for those driving the change.
“There is a big opportunity for Birmingham. It’s not just about showcasing how the city is progressing on a broader scale, but also demonstrating the opportunities of this development on a local level.”
Richard Cowell, Birmingham City Council