the latest show
it hadn't been for investors, then Birmingham city centre wouldn't have regenerated
to the extent that it has."
the living back into our city centres
and town centres across the West Midlands are being transformed.
no-go zones are being regenerated, and slums are being replaced with swanky new
But these trendy city centre pads only suit the lifestyle and
budget of a few people, mainly singles and professionals.
for families or the less well-off are being pushed out of city centres.
Out asks whether these new developments are good for our cities.
Sam Jones, an interior designer, has snapped up a two
bedroom apartment in Birmingham's city centre.
She has a view over the
canal, and shopping and nightlife on her doorstep.
Young and single, the
lifestyle suits her perfectly.
Jones and her apartment designed for city living |
couldn't imagine life anywhere else.
"I think as singletons we bring
a lot of vibrancy and fun to the city.
"We use the bars, we go and
spend our money in them, and our friends come and visit us from outside the city."
problem is that as more and more properties are built to suit people like Sam,
others are bound to be squeezed out.
Pratt, an academic and town planner, warns of a growing mono-culture.
can be a single class society, a centre of singletons, of the affluent, the upwardly
mobile - people who've made it and are making it.
"But it's not inclusive
enough - a ghetto if you like, in reverse. The new flats need to be managed.
need to be blended into other types of development which reflect balanced communities."
living has fuelled the building boom |
Developer Manjit Deol
is one of the investors fuelling the transformation - he's even bought up entire
floors in Birmingham's Rotunda.
He's cashing in on the demand for new flats,
and there's no shortage of buyers.
So how does he think the building boom
is affecting life in the city?
"If it hadn't been for
investors, then Birmingham city centre wouldn't have regenerated to the extent
that it has.
"When we invest in the apartments, the apartments are
rented by tenants, and the tenants are relocating to Birmingham from different
parts of the country.
"That in itself has created capital for the
city to be able to do things."
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