By Liam Kennedy
The town of Birmingham bargains a very wealthy case learn on city regeneration because it strives to construct a brand new urban snapshot. located among decline and regeneration, the panorama of town and its environs collages previous and new, generating dramatic contrasts - of commercial and post-industrial urbanisms of crumbling brutalism and awesome flagship advancements, of Victorian housing and numerous cultural life - that compound the cultured and socio-economic technique of regeneration. This visually interesting ebook additionally displays upon and extends present debates approximately public house, cultural zoning and the futures of towns.
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Additional info for Remaking Birmingham: The Visual Culture of Urban Regeneration
Over the past 50 years, we have seen three different models for how a city centre might be organized, one rapidly succeeding another. We might call them Street City, Subway City, and Mall City. 8. This was the pattern that the radical architect and town-planner Le Corbusier wished to consign to the dustbin of history in 1933. ‘Our streets no longer work. Streets are an obsolete notion. There ought not to be such things as streets; we have to create something that will replace them’ (Le Corbusier 1967).
On the other hand, the increasing pressure of development demands that planning control needs to be both efficient and capable of ensuring good buildings and environments are created. Planning departments in London and Manchester face similar challenges which has led them to ask developers and their architects for higher quality design presentations and models to fully assess the impact of city centre projects. Critical debate and a concentration of imaginative architects also stimulate better design in a city.
No space disappears in the course of growth and development’, Henri Lefebvre declares (Lefebvre 1991:86). Every new urban plan adds only the most recent surface to the palimpsest of spatial affect. The Bull Ring has been the commercial heart of Birmingham since the twelfth century, a status that the much-maligned 1960s’ Bull Ring Shopping Centre was at least intended to maintain, and that the current multi-million regeneration project at once commemorates and re-establishes. Moreover, in taking its place between St Martin’s Church and the infamous Rotunda, two previous landmarks of a city in transition, the Selfridges building will configure and complete a central vista for the new city that marks its past, present and future.