What is the City of Nature all about?
Over the last two years the Future Parks Accelerator Project – Naturally Birmingham, has been working to create a plan for the sustainable provision, maintenance and use of green and blue spaces in the city. Alongside the FPA project the city and its partners have also been working on ways to make our whole city a Bolder Greener City.
It also builds on Our Future City Plan 2040 https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/ourfuturecityplan that sets out the vision for the development of the heart of Birmingham.
On 8th February 2022 Cabinet approved the 25-year City of Nature Plan which brings together all the work of the Naturally Birmingham Project including the learning gained from partner organisations and communities and builds on the fantastic work happening in the city. Now we have a plan that we can work together to deliver. We know that allowing nature to recover in the city will benefit us all, find out how you can benefit and how you get involved.
You can download a copy of the full City of Nature Plan here:
For a word version of the plan please visit: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/50273/our_future_city_plan_ofcp/2518/our_future_nature_city_plan
Why we need a City of Nature Plan now
In 2019 Birmingham declared a Climate Emergency and, with a pandemic in between, in 2021 UK hosted a UN Climate Conference COP 26 in Glasgow 30 years on from the Rio Summit https://www.un.org/en/conferences/environment/rio1992
The world is a very different place and it is racing to catch up with the science.
As Sir David Attenborough says:
‘No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced’.
The City of Nature Plan captures this urgency and converts it into a practicable plan of action and suggests delivery mechanisms for the city to become a Bolder Greener Birmingham.
We hope this City of Nature Plan will change the way in which the city treats its natural environment and how it thinks about the future of its parks and green spaces. Opening up more equal access by ensuring all of its green spaces achieve the Birmingham Fair Standard a way of assessing green spaces that is a direct response to the issue of environmental justice.
Explaining the City of Nature Plan
( Originally the City of Nature Framework).
Over the next 25 years we want to see Birmingham recognised as a City of Nature where its parks and green spaces are both sustainably managed and funded. The delivery of the plan will involve the whole council and its core third sector partners though a City of Nature Alliance; whilst at the same time reaching out to the citizens of Birmingham to facilitate significantly more involvement.
There is a value to all this work that for too long has remained invisible; what this document sets out to do is make visible all the benefits that come to the city and its citizens through having good quality blue and green spaces.
The City of Nature Plan can also be a mechanism to help realise the vision in Our Future City Plan 2040 producing a single continuous narrative to be read through city documents that reflect the national and international position.
We want to continue to share as much information with as many people as possible to help shape the delivery of the plan. How delivery will happen across the city continues to be a collaborative process with partners and community helping not only create the plan but also to help deliver it. You can find out more about how you can get involved here: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/50273/our_future_city_plan_ofcp/2518/our_future_nature_city_plan/2
Here are some supporting documents, videos and recording for the City of Nature Plan:
BCC News desk article: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/news/article/1057/city_of_nature_plan_must_be_accepted_by_cabinet_to_meet_birminghams_net-zero_carbon_target
Really big Thank you!
We couldn’t have got this far without all the work of the FPA Team in Birmingham and all the partner organisations: Birmingham Open Spaces Forum, The Active Wellbeing Society, The Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust, Witton Lodge Community Association, The Birmingham Children’s Trust, Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust and The Landscape Practice Group.
Thank you for the funding and support from The Heritage Lottery Fund and The National Trust FPA Team.
We would like to thank all the community groups who worked with us to collect the wonderful Earth Stories – Black Arts Forum, Stechford Village Neighbourhood Forum, Welsh House Farm Green Grafters (Special thank you for the beautiful picture of the future of parks at the top of the page), The Friends of Georges’ Park, Footsteps, Northfield Arts Forum, Queen Alexandra College, Over 50s Go Getters, Stirchley Snowflakes Festival, Norton Hall and Brownfield Road Allotment Garden Association as well as all those who have shared their earth stories via our blog page.
Thank you to all our Green Champions and everyone that has contributed to our conversations and consultations so far, including via Social Media.
Also big thanks to Reeves PR who did a superb job creating our videos and marketing materials. They have been proactive, friendly and efficient and very patient as this delivery framework has evolved over the past few months.
So many stories, ideas and just moments of brilliance from everyone who has helped get this together, there is still lots to do but People need parks and most definitely parks need people! So together we really can make Birmingham a City of Nature.