Now's Not the Time to Sacrifice Quality of Life

The Birmingham Post (England), July 19, 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Now's Not the Time to Sacrifice Quality of Life


Byline: Jane Findlay

We can rightly be proud of the transformation of our city - the new Bullring, Brindleyplace, the New Library of Birmingham are all examples.

But while such investment in the quality of public infrastructure is welcomed, too often such investment has been neglected by policymakers and undervalued by business.

When hard choices have to be made in tough economic times, it's perhaps too easy to accept the poverty of our streets and urban landscape as an inevitable consequence of the economic downturn.

Yet the potential of public spaces to help generate economic, social and environmental benefits is huge. More than one-fifth of Birmingham consists of open space, connected by a network of streets and public thoroughfares.

It is the glue that binds the city together and this is precisely the time to invest in the infrastructure of our cities and not "dress ourselves in rags" as Sir Stuart Lipton, Founder of CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) put it.

Birmingham has seen dramatic changes in its development history since the 1980s. Apart from the examples already noted we can also list Centenary Square; the construction of the NIA and the ICC and the pedestrianisation of New Street. This good work has continued with City Park in Eastside, which is due to open later this year and will be the first urban park in Birmingham for over 125 years. Further spaces are planned for Moat Square, Digbeth Viaduct and Lancaster Circus in the future.

It is important that such investment continues because Birmingham is as the heart of a region that has suffered more than most during the recession.

It operates in an increasingly competitive, globalised world and needs to create a high quality of environment that will attract new business and new entrepreneurs in competition with a host of other regional centres.

Investment in the quality of the urban landscape has economic benefits that greatly outweigh the cost of the initial investment.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Now's Not the Time to Sacrifice Quality of Life
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?