Birmingham, united kingdom
Biophilic Cities Member since 2013
Birmingham, a one-time industrial giant in England’s West Midlands, has pioneered a comprehensive, integrated approach to environmental and health-related problems. Much of this new philosophy can be seen in the Green Living Spaces Plan, which includes a proposal for creating access to Birmingham’s impressive network of rivers and canals, making it the basis for a citywide grid of trails and pathways. Revitalization of the canal system in the city center has increased visitors who come to enjoy the waterfront atmosphere. Despite the city’s reputation as a gray industrial locale, it has ample green space with many local nature reserves, like the Moseley Bog (reputed to be a childhood haunt of J.R.R. Tolkien), as well as the the 1,000-hectare Sutton Park (the first urban National Nature Reserve in the United Kingdom). Birmingham has declared its intent to be the United Kingdom’s first “natural capital city,” and has been a leading city in developing “natural capital metrics” to evaluate the ecological impacts of development projects. Birmingham has declared its intention to be green and sustainable city, and is a leader in making connections between health and nature.
City Contact: Nick Grayson, University of Birmingham
Green Living Spaces Plan to secure, enhance and ensure the effective long term maintenance of the city’s natural green and water spaces.
Nature Conservation Strategy: provides comprehensive advice and guidance for the conservation of the city’s biodiversity through preserving open space and park land.
Birmingham and Black Country Biodiversity Action Plan: This plan, written in 2010 by Birmingham and Black Biodiversity Partnership, a consortium of organizations including the Birmingham City Council, aims for a diverse and natural Birmingham and Black Country, where we are connected to our wildlife and landscape; healthy, sustainable communities and local livelihoods, working with nature and securing its future.
Active Parks supports Birmingham residents to participate in a wide range of physical activities to improve health and wellbeing whilst having a lot of fun.
Green Commission’s ‘Making Birmingham Greener Healthier” awards: These are annual community awards, including a biophilic category. The awards, co-ordinated by the Birmingham Green Commission and sponsored by Veolia, recognise the efforts of people, organisations, community groups and education establishments who have worked hard to promote sustainability; made energy efficiency savings; supported sustainable travel; reduced waste; promoted health and wellbeing initiatives; made space for nature and worked to improve the environment for the people living and working within the city.
EcoRecord collects, collates and makes available information about the wildlife, wildlife sites and habitats of Birmingham and the Black Country.
Groundwork UK job training and creation that re-connects people with nature and transform whole neighbourhoods.