MIPIM, Birmingham and the Importance of Infrastructure

Reflecting on my first year at MIPIM I was really pleased by the positivity about the future for Greater Birmingham. Key catalysts for the resurgence include high profile infrastructure projects such as New Street Station, HS2 and the expansion of Birmingham Airport, enhancing Birmingham’s profile and connectivity both nationally and globally.

The announcements of Smithfield Markets, Arden Cross and Curzon Street and continued development at Snowhill, Arena Central and Eastside Locks are great examples of how major infrastructure projects create a climate for significant investment and development. These flagship projects are a statement of ambition for the city region, and a real opportunity for Birmingham to re-establish itself as an urban powerhouse.

With the development of Birmingham City Centre having been historically stifled by the infrastructure projects of the 60’s and 70’s, the success of the city’s redevelopment will be ensuring that the spaces and connectivity between flagship projects facilitate individual developments and make the most of existing assets. It was great to hear how projects, such as the tram, urban parks and key public realm areas will connect and unlock parts of the city. Ultimately, the interaction between national and local infrastructure projects will be crucial to the city’s coherence over the next fifty years.

I was, therefore, equally excited to hear about the investment in areas like Centenary Square, the Snowhill masterplan and the new urban park at Eastside. These developments are helping to provide the frameworks for developers to maintain and add character to the city, within the context of a wider vision.