With the departure of Clive Dutton, who has been so instrumental in securing the future of the city, thoughts turn to ‘what do we do next?’.
Do we carry on as we are, or do we introspect a bit and refine our strategy? These are tough questions and it proves what we should already know; town planning is not easy.
Our glorious leader, Anthony Tattum, said so eloquently in the Birmingham Post‘s ‘Pen Portrait’ (Sorry Alun) that Birmingham ‘needs a single vision’. I didn’t know he harboured this opinion until I read it in the paper, and I have to say I agree.
There is a relentless tug-of-war between seperate sectors on how the future of the city should look and feel.
One side would prefer to capitalise on Birmingham’s burgeoning creative industry and Digbeth based online innovation, whilst the other side would rather a more urbane, modern chic. See it as BrindleyPlace versus The Custard Factory.
But here is the problem, it is difficult to achieve both and I can’t see the council favouring post-industrial developments such as Fazeley Studios over slick new builds like The Library and New Street Station.
Personally I think the creative industries are the future of this city and it gives a unique selling point; it would make sense to invest in these areas.
The only thing we do know is that we need to pick a direction and run in it.