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How One UK City Intends to Attract more Residents
Birmingham is already a great place to live, but it wants to get better.
In 2010, Birmingham’s city council unveiled the Big City Plan, an ambitious blueprint for development in the city. The plan aims to bolster Birmingham’s reputation as UK’s second largest city, ranking behind only London in terms of importance. If the plan sees success, Birmingham can expect a rapid spike in new investments and businesses. Multinational corporations, many of which currently have headquarters in London, may also choose to move parts of their operations to Birmingham as the city becomes more competitive. Along with them will come an increase in the residential population as professionals and employees, whether compelled to move due to the relocations of their jobs, or attracted by new job opportunities in the city, come to settle down in Birmingham.
Rapid growth within the city’s core can only be sustained if the city center remains bustling and vibrant at night. Concerted efforts have to be made for Birmingham to avoid the “dead town” phenomenon that plague so many major cities once night falls and offices empty of their occupants.
One often-sought solution undertaken by many cities is to attract a resident population into the city center. Birmingham has recently seen a growth of apartments around its city core, indicating a rise in city center resident population. However, more can definitely be done. The real challenge lies not in attracting single professionals to live in the city’s core, but families, both young and old, to move in, too. Diverse housing options to cater to various family types and sizes are a must, and access to schools, parks, and shops integral.
Several areas have already been marked out for residential development. These include Attwood Green and around Broad Street and Southside. Carefully designed residential homes that blend in seamlessly with the historical environments of Digbeth, St George, St Chad, and the Jewellery Quarter are also in the works, as well as family-friendly housing at Highgate and Ladywood.