January 26th at 1pm in the Birmingham and Midland Institute: ‘High Speed2 and Birmingham city centre’.

JH walking tour city

Architect and urban designer Joe Holyoak will reflect on the effect that the new HS2 terminal will have on the geography of Birmingham and, particularly, upon the relationship between the city centre and Digbeth. He says:

“The talk is mostly about what in urban design we call severance – the dividing up of the city by barriers, with damaging consequences. They can be man-made and intentional – the Berlin Wall – or natural – a river or an escarpment. But mostly they are man-made and unintentional, the by-product of some other intention, such as railway lines or major highways.

hs2 terminal masterplan hs2 terminal masterplan key

“In this case, the huge HS2 terminal, will effectively duplicate the barrier of the inner ring road which was demolished in the early 2000s. The design reasoning behind these two pieces of engineering is very similar, blinkered and one-dimensional. The IRR enabled cars to move a few mph faster in one dimension, but obstructed movement, of both people and economic investment, in the other dimension. Substitute trains for cars, and the HS2 terminal is a very similar animal, and I am afraid will have very similar consequences”.

Background information:

Birmingham Curzon HS2 Draft Masterplan – Part 1 (Size: 8.29 Mb Type: PDF Birmingham Curzon HS2 Draft Masterplan – Part 2 (Size: 8.84 Mb Type: PDF

Birmingham Curzon HS2 Draft Masterplan – Boundary Plan (Size: 1.65 Mb Type: PDF )

Map here: http://bmi.org.uk/location.html – if you have a Sat Nav, enter the postcode ‘B3 3BS’ (or B3 2BJ for the nearest parking location). The Birmingham and Midland Institute is located on Margaret Street, Birmingham.