Earlier recipients include ART, Kirsty Davies of PPS and the Green New Deal designers. The award was set up in 2003 in memory of Thomas Attwood (1783-1856), one of the city’s first two MPs, who worked to extend the vote and promoted measures which would lead to full employment, peace and prosperity, regarding foreign trade as incidental to the nation’s wealth.

Joe Holyoak is a member of the expert panel of MADE – an organisation dedicated to improving the quality of our towns, cities and villages, which believes that a high quality built environment is essential for economic prosperity and wellbeing.

JH walking tour cityHis experience encompasses both the restoration and returning to use of good Victorian buildings and forward looking urban design. As a founder member of the citizens’ group Birmingham for People, he was involved in making counter-proposals for both the Bull Ring (1989) and Brindleyplace (1991) redevelopments. The People’s Plan for the Bull Ring was totally opposed to the developer’s proposal, and succeeded in changing the proposal substantially for the better over the next few years. In the case of Brindleyplace, there was less variance between the two. BfP’s plan was published before the developer’s masterplan of 1992, and was influential upon it to some degree, helping to shape this successful development.

Balsall Heath Forum is the first organisation in the country to be designated as a neighbourhood forum with responsibility for producing a statutory neighbourhood plan. As a Balsall Heath resident, Joe has coordinated the forum’s neighbourhood planning work. Two-thirds of the draft plan’s proposals are place specific, including changes to local shopping centres and enhancements to a river that runs through Balsall Heath.

Other projects this year related to the Bull Ring markets and the proposed redevelopment of Paradise Circus. The alternative plan for Paradise Circus was drawn up for the Friends of the Central Library by Joe Holyoak and Rob Turner, of Eatarchitecture.   

Next week Joe’s recommendations for the rebuilding of the Bull Ring markets area will be published on this site, with drawings. It is rumoured that the plans of the commercial developer commissioned to draw up plans are not unlike the Holyoak design.