Birmingham is located centrally in England, in the Midlands. It is the UK's second-largest city and has strong connections with other countries in the world as a result of its ethnic diversity. The city presents many positive opportunities such as:
Despite the many opportunities Birmingham now has, it has faced many challenges. Some of these challenges include social, economic and environmental problems.
Urban decline - Birmingham used to have a large manufacturing industry. Due to competition from abroad, most of Birmingham's manufacturing industry has now gone. This has led to urban decline as manufacturing buildings were left empty and became derelict.
Deprivation - with the closure of the manufacturing industry and high unemployment, parts of Birmingham experienced a spiral of social and economic decline leading to deprivation.
Inequalities in housing - Birmingham's high population has resulted in pressures on housing. There is not enough good quality and affordable housing for people in the city.
Education - the quality of education was particularly poor in inner city areas such as Aston. Aston is an area of deprivation with an ethnically diverse community where many children struggled to access and succeed in education.
Health - in Aston people with poorer English language skills found it difficult to access healthcare facilities.
Unemployment - the closure of factories in the manufacturing industry led to high unemployment.
Dereliction - derelict buildings from the manufacturing industry are common in inner-city areas.
Building on greenfield sites - this results in the loss of more green space and may make urban sprawl worse. However, building on brownfield sites will improve a derelict site as the space is reused for a new development.
Waste disposal - a large urban population produces a lot of household and commercial waste which creates challenges for how to manage and dispose of this waste.
Atmospheric pollution - with more people in a city there are more vehicles on the road leading to atmospheric pollution.