Plan aims to double city’s population density

Plans designed by Howells to double Birmingham’s green space and create an active travel network that would put the Midlands city on a par with Copenhagen are set to be unveiled this week. 

The Central Birmingham Framework 2040 will shape the next 20 years of development in the city. It has been developed with the Birmingham-based practice, which changed its name from Glenn Howells last month, and consultant Arcadis.

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The plan would bring green space in Birmingham to the level of Vienna

The city claims the proposal, which is set to be unveiled officially at the UKREIIF conference in Leeds, has the potential to create 74,000 new jobs and up to 35,000 new homes. 

New neighbourhoods will be created, doubling the city’s population density, while the active travel network will also be doubled to 200km. 

The new framework is divided into five key zones which extend beyond the Inner Ring Road. 

Framework regions 

  • City Heart: Bull Ring, Colmore Business District, Snowhill and Steelhouse, Southside, Town, Westside; 
  • Central North: Eastside and Aston Triangle, Gun Quarter, Nechells, Newtown; 
  • Central East: Bordesley, Digbeth, Small Heath; 
  • Central South: Balsall Heath, Edgbaston, Highgate; 
  • Central West: Hockley, Jewellery Quarter, Ladywood, Spring Hill. 

Speaking ahead of the launch, council leader Ian Ward said: “Like all great cities, Birmingham forever reinvents itself and our transformation is never-ending. 

“There’s a real buzz about Birmingham at the moment, a growing city of enormous potential and – as we showed to great effect last summer when hosting the Commonwealth Games – we’re ready to fulfil that potential. 

“Now this framework, the most important strategy for Birmingham this century, is set to supercharge our quest to be a leading international city.”