Birmingham needs more green space at its heart
CityPark4Brum is a campaign group established in 2015 to lobby Birmingham City Council to create a new public park at Birmingham Smithfield. It is supported by the Greener Birmingham coalition, the Impact Hub Birmingham, the Birmingham Open Spaces Forum & the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country. The park is also supported by proposers of the West Midlands National Park.
Birmingham Smithfield - an ideal location for a city park
Unlike many other major cities around the world, Birmingham does not have a large park at its centre. However, we now have a unique opportunity to change this. The former wholesale markets site, called Birmingham Smithfield, is next to the Bullring and less than 5 minutes' walk from New Street station. It's an ideal location for a signature green park that would truly transform the city centre. Furthermore, the site is large enough, being 14 hectares in size (about 20 football pitches), with most of it publicly owned.
Unfortunately green and public open space has not been a priority in Birmingham City Council's plans for the site, as shown in its 2016 Smithfield Masterplan. Instead, the council intends to fill it with buildings, with much of the open space located within private courtyards. A small green park included as a result of our campaign is simply too small and not transformative.
The case for urban green space
Parks improve physical & mental health
Parks improve air quality
Parks improve biodiversity
Parks bring communities together
Parks provide sites for open-air events
Parks provide the lungs and fresh air for cities. They also improve our physical & mental health (saving the NHS £millions per year) and provide sites for festivals & community events.
Green space also helps the economy; a recent report on parks in London revealed that every £1 spent on public green space equates to £27 in value for the public.
Now it's Birmingham's turn. We have a unique chance to truly transform the city centre and produce a legacy for generations to come.