Skip to content

In an attempt to transform the city centre, the new proposed River Rea development is an exciting venture for Birmingham. The river itself will run through a series of new housing areas and green areas in an attempt to get the city more carbon neutral.

The river has initially running through Birmingham city centre some hundred years ago, but these new plans will allow for people to sit and socialise along the river side once again.

In order to accommodate for the river, there is the possibility that some businesses could be faced with a compulsory purchase order. This means that any businesses in the path of the proposed river path will have to re-locate. This has worried many business owners, but they have been reassured that support will be available for re-location.

The overall focus of the river is to create a more green and environmentally friendly city centre. With the planning documents mentioning ‘pocket parks’ and ‘green walls’ as other developments involved in the eco movement.

In order to further combat environmental issues in Birmingham, pedestrians and cyclists will have priority over vehicles. However, public transport will also still be available and prominent, as this is a more environmentally friendly option to personal cars. To accommodate for this, the footpaths will be widened, and cycle routes will be put into place wherever possible.

To add a personal touch to the project, there will be local businesses involved “to reveal the history and significance of the river through art, with collaboration between designers, engineers, local communities and businesses” Similarly, the papers state “Different forms of arts and culture, from

temporary installations or events to permanent artworks, bring people together and are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.”

One major concern of local Birmingham residents is the flood risk that will be introduced along with the river. However, the papers have said that “Birmingham City Council and the Environment Agency (EA) have been working in partnership to assess the opportunities to reduce flood risk within the area to support the ambitious transformation of the river corridor. A combination of sustainable drainage infrastructure, the provision of flood storage areas and channel improvements would manage flood risk within the Rea Valley Urban Quarter."