MEDC Urban Case Study: Birmingham

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Managing Urban Areas Case Study: Birmingham
Problem 1: Merry Hill
Birmingham is close to the Merry Hill out-of-town shopping centre. This was built in 1989
Before it was built Birmingham and the surrounding towns like Dudley had a thriving high street
After Merry Hill was built people preferred to shop there rather than their high street as it was all under one roof, convenient, and
Birmingham's CBD has had to, therefore, manage the problem of the loss of some of its customers, and shops, with new projects.
The CBD saw a decline in trade of 12% over 5 years (1989-1994)
The New Street Development
Lighting ­ makes people feel safer at night
Dustbins ­ so people can throw litter away ­ keeps clean
Trees ­ look attractive and absorb pollution
Benches ­ create relaxed atmosphere and people can sit down
Information boxes ­ help people find their way around
Pedestrianized streets ­ shoppers are safe from cars
The largest retail regeneration project in Europe, costing £500 million. Reopened as a shopping centre in June 2003
140 shops (including Debenhams), cafes and restaurants
3,100 new car parking spaces
Creation of 8,000 new jobs
36.5 million visitors in its first year
£2 million invested in public art features
The Mail Box (RENEWAL)
The Mail Box on Wharfside street used to be Birmingham's Royal Mail Sorting Office
Its shell has been retained and the inside redeveloped into a multi-use mall
40 retail outlets including Harvey Nichols and Emporio Armani
2 hotels ­ Malmaison and Days Hotel
Office space ­ the new HQ for BBC Birmingham
200 'executive' apartments
Problem 2: Traffic
Birmingham City Council's transport strategy:
Increased number of buses has led to an increase in passenger numbers, e.g. on route 69 there has been a 27% increase
11 extra key rail routes for commuters, e.g. the Jewellery line in operation since 1995
Metro (Light Railway) links Birmingham and Wolverhampton (20.4km in 35 mins)
The investment in public transport has meant that 48% of all trips into the city during peak community hours are made by bus and
Residential Areas
9 miles away from the CBD
Lies between the M5 (large motorway) and the A38 (runs into Birmingham). It is also on a railway line
Close to Waseley Country Park
The area used to be a psychiatric hospital and hospital grounds and was redeveloped 10 years ago

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The land was cleared and small townhouses have been built
They are 2-3 bedroom 'starter homes' which are relatively inexpensive and aimed at young people trying to get onto the property
The area has also seen an influx of new businesses including a gym, a ten pin bowling alley, and a spa
Close to Rubery
The Longbridge factory has a long and historical past as a major player of the UK car industry
Prior to 1984 there was only one house at Longbridge…read more


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