In a recent virtual roundtable event, Partner Dav Bansal offered his expertise when looking at the infrastructure and public realm of Birmingham. The discussion focused on the Council’s plan to reduce car-use in the city.
Birmingham is going in the right direction. We’re heading for a city that’s not relying on the private car to move about, but instead looking to grow the city around public transport, pedestrians and cyclists.
But we’re lacking a smart, integral transport network which connects different parts of the city and surrounding areas. We need a kind of tube map which can show people how they can move around the city. We have the cycle ways, waterways, walkways, tramways and open public places, but we need intelligent urban planning to bring them all together.
It’s also about creating more density around transport hubs, so we grow a city that’s efficient, compact and sustainable. We need more mixed uses in the city including living for multi-generations, which will mean more people living and working in the city. This would also result in less commuting in and out of the city.
The past three months during lockdown has shown we want to be closer to nature and with a need for far fewer car parking spaces, can we use these to create more green spaces, meanwhile uses and parklets.
We all wish to live in a healthier, cleaner and a more connected city. If the city is a safer place to be because it’s no longer dominated by the car and highways, it will create the long-term sustainable environment that we all yearn for.
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