The Chamberlain Files | Homepage
Marketing Birmingham 2050

Marketing Birmingham 2050

🕔14.Jun 2013

Imagine it’s 2050. You are in London at a business meeting in the City. The other people in the room live and work in the capital. They have never met you before.

As part of your introduction to everyone, the convenor of the meeting announces you live in Birmingham.

This immediately evokes everyone’s attention. “Hey, Lucky you!” they say. “Wish I could too.”

Is the above response likely now? I have never encountered it, rather quite the reverse. Could it become commonplace by 2050? And if so, how might it happen?




One of the four Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Reports, What’s past is prologue: Birmingham 2050 is just out. It begins with the scene above.

In Part I, I argue that a literal greening of our city has a major part to play in creating Birmingham 2050 that readily elicits such a response. Part II puts this in a global context.

I also argue that although Birmingham’s brief history as a major dwelling place means this is a wild challenge, our ancient ancestral past provides us with both evidence and a route for us to transform even the ugliest of our industrial heritage into an attractive and productive landscape, as well as making the challenge huge fun.

Moreover, I argue that should we go only part way to meet the challenge — leaving many in 2050 still exhibiting at best sniffy indifference to us — we will have made much of our city a lovely welcoming place where we live happy and fulfilled lives.

If we green the city, we will be doing so much more too. Whatever Birmingham’s long-term strategic plans are now, they need to be robust enough to withstand the global challenges we’re facing, and flexible enough to be changed in the light of unpredictable, as yet-unimagined events, “wildcards‘ outside our current view.

It’s easy to turn away from these challenges, hoping that somehow we’ll muddle through or that someone else will do the right thing so everything will be fine once again.

Another strategy, a positive one, is that we face the reasoned pessimism head-on, deem it as ‘an inconvenient truth‘, and make decisions based on the probability that we are indeed facing the very survival of many millions, if not billions of people – maybe ourselves too.

Making the seemingly inevitable evitable requires radical system changes to social infrastructures — and this doesn’t necessarily mean doom, gloom and misery. Far from it!

I urge you to read this Report, comment on it and on the other reports the Forum has published.

The Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Reports are part of the work of the New Optimists Forum where, since 2011, regional scientists and others have been bending their minds on possible food futures for Birmingham in 2050.

An impressive list of over 70 people, listed here, have taken part the Forum one way or t’other, and nearly all of whom live locally.



Enhanced by Zemanta

Chamberlain Files Weekly

Don't miss a thing! Sign up for our free weekly summary of the Chamberlain Files from RJF Public Affairs.
* = required field

powered by MailChimp!

Our latest tweets

Published by

Published by


Our community