Birmingham: from municipal enterprise to big city bluster

Jones, Adrian and Matthews, Chris (2017) Birmingham: from municipal enterprise to big city bluster. In: The Birmingham Modernist Society, 4 July 2017, 321 Bradford Street, Birmingham.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Lecture)
Item Status:Live Archive


The Birmingham motto ‘Forward’ is perhaps the most appropriate of any city in Britain. It defines both its progressive trajectory and too often negligent approach to history. Since the eighteenth century Birmingham was often considered open, tolerant, dynamic, socially mobile, commercial and successful. By the late nineteenth century these forces created a pioneering city of municipal enterprise, educational reform and fair trade. Hubris followed in the form of Manzoni’s destructive inner ring road, although the work of local architect John Madin represented the potential of modernist Birmingham. Since the economic shocks of the 1980s the city has reasserted itself. Victoria Square, Brindley Place, Eastside City Park and the Custard Factory represent the most considered and detailed schemes of the last thirty years. Whereas Grand Central, Aston University and The Lighthouse display only scale and bluster

Keywords:urban history, architecture, town planning
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K421 Urban Planning
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V360 History of Architecture
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V321 Local History
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:28044
Deposited On:26 Jul 2017 14:23

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