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Birmingham: Planners Put Natural Capital to Work

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Michael Joseph
Michael Joseph  
6/4/2014 5:12:41 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Toolkits - pros and cons
@Susan, I think the development of the NCCT was done in tandem with input from various bodies representative of public interests in enviromentalism who are, often anyway, quite vocal in this country when it comes to preservation of green spaces and natural resources. How the overall development engaged with the public would be more a matter for how the city council framed the development itself. In general these projects go through an environmental impact review period during gestation were the public can comment, and usually do.

Michael Joseph
Michael Joseph  
6/4/2014 5:08:43 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Birmingham!
Good point Kim. As one of the largest manufacturing centers in the country, Birmingham has long been a poster child for the ravages of over-industrialization and environmental despoilation, up to the recent past anyway. Attitudes have changed markedly across the country since those days and the fresh air of new thinking in terms of planning and development is changing the old lanscapes, albeit slowly.

Kim Davis
Kim Davis  
5/30/2014 12:57:31 PM
User Rank Staff
Birmingham!
Birmingham as a city concerned with the natural environment.  It's certainly not the reputation it had when I was growing up.

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
5/30/2014 5:30:23 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Toolkits - pros and cons
Hi Michael, thanks for highlighting Birmingham's natural capital focus. I was interested in Walter's question about public participation. For sure it would make any planning process much messier -- more opinions, move moving parts. But everything that's written on the Future Cities website seems to point to the fact that green capital is as essential to well-being and quality of life as good construction, safety, tranquility etc. So shouldn't residents in the surrounding neighborhoods gets some input? Or are some of the "stakeholders" in some way representing the larger interests of the community?

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
5/20/2014 9:39:40 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: 6000 new homes
@Michael, Thats exactly what the city council of Glendale CA has not done, nor the City of Los Angeles who are building up at least 1500 more apartments in the downtown L.A. area. No jobs, no expanded public transportation, no real input from the community.

I really do hope they are taking into account Traffic and jobs when they build up homes/apartments etc in cities. Its seeming like they do not. I'm probably wrong but its what i'm seeing.

Michael Joseph
Michael Joseph  
5/20/2014 8:13:47 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: 6000 new homes
@davidgreat: The Natural Capital tool does not directly account for jobs or traffic impact as it only seeks to measure those assets that are provided by nature. However any well planned development would have to include these two considerations as you highlight. Not to do so would seem foolish and risky.

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
5/19/2014 3:13:08 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
6000 new homes
I havent read the document in question, but does it go into detail about Traffic and jobs?

The City I live (Glendale Ca) in is building 1000-1500 new apartments with no plan for Traffic or jobs. Whiles hundreds of apartments sit idel, the city council has not addressed any of these issues.

CitySolver
CitySolver  
5/18/2014 7:18:11 AM
User Rank Blogger
greening
I agree, in some cases more dense (none green) developments may be a better way to avoid building on virgin green belt land. However in the light of the quality (or lack of) in much UK home building any way of greening it is a good thing especially at a larger connected scale

Walter Fieuw
Walter Fieuw  
5/15/2014 2:27:51 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Toolkits - pros and cons
Thanks for the clarification. I lived in London for three years - never made the trip to Birmingham and did not really have an urban interest back then - but I am always keen to follow the urban discourse on British towns and cities. Guardian Cities have been a welcome source of rich info! I am indeed, but closer to third world issues such as slums and crumbling infrastructure. I guess my scepticism of toolkits are born from witnessing how it is used to draw strong lines of inclusion and exclusion in the planning process. That's why I am asking about the participation elements, because that is how you will be able to "socialise" the technical requirements, and ensure the community sees it as their own. Keep up the good work. Hope to read of your work again

kq4ym
kq4ym  
5/15/2014 2:25:00 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Toolkits - pros and cons
The idea of natural capital should be taken more seriously by planners around the world, but as cited it's not going to be easy to standarize definitions. Take into account local variances, in what values to attribute, and how the interested parties are going to often have really great differences of opinion, it's not going to be an easy job to implement.

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