Press release – reaction to the publication of the Big City Plan
Birmingham Friends of the Earth welcomes the green messages in the new version of the Big City Plan, demonstrating that Birmingham City Council is taking the idea of a sustainable city seriously.
The campaigns group say the second draft shows the council has listened to environmental concerns as it includes a number of initiatives that were absent from the first draft, including better walking routes and bicycle hire points, greater areas of public green spaces and steps towards energy efficiency and low carbon energy generation.
Planning campaigner Ben Mabbett says ‘These are important steps to creating a sustainable city, so for them to be included is very positive and we look forward to seeing them implemented’.
The green group is particularly heartened to see the council’s 60% target for CO2 reduction included in the document along with a recognition that there is a need for more independent shops across the city centre.
The campaigners remained concerned, however, that the new uses of the wholesale market site must strengthen, not weaken, the city’s lively retail markets.
Mabbett adds “Cities must meet the needs of their local populations from all income levels and walks of life. Independent shops, unprivatised public space and particularly the markets are important parts of this in Birmingham.”
Representatives of Birmingham Friends of the Earth said they were looking forward to seeing more detail about how the plan will be implemented, particularly regarding transport provision, and stressed the need to ensure the plan creates not only a low carbon city, but a truly sustainable city.
Campaigns Coordinator, Roxanne Green added “It will be tough to make this ambitious plan come to fruition and we hope that not only the big, iconic ideas but the green and the inclusive elements all form the basis of not just aspirational documents but council action”.
Notes to Editors
1) The Big City Plan is available on the internet: http://bigcityplan.birmingham.gov.uk/
2) Birmingham Friends of the Earth campaigns on many environmental issues on a local, national and international level. https://birminghamfoe.org.uk/
For more information contact: Joe Peacock (Birmingham Friends of the Earth) 0121 632 6909 firstname.lastname@example.org