City of Nature pilot project

The Birmingham City of Nature Plan and a City of Nature Alliance to help deliver it will be the legacy of the both the work of the Naturally Birmingham Project and, through the achievements of a pilot project, the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The City of Nature Plan recognises that parks and green spaces, including “blue” water-based features, provide considerable benefits to Birmingham’s citizens. Together these features are known as ecosystem services, they sustain the city’s wildlife (its biodiversity); improve health & wellbeing; help create community cohesion and can increase quality of life; as well as mitigating and adapting to climate change. However, access to green space across the city is not equitable and some sections of our diverse population of over 1 million people face barriers in accessing green spaces, participating in activities, or making full use of facilities on offer. We know that connection to nature not only provides benefits to the individual but also creates place attachment and a greater understanding and care for the wider environment. So Birmingham has become the first city in the UK to develop a tool to highlight the inequalities in accessing green space alongside other key measures and produce an Environmental Justice Map.

The Environmental Justice Map, which considers access to green space, health inequalities (through excess years of life lost), flood risk, urban heat island effect and the indices of multiple deprivation, shows us where in the city needs more attention when it comes to green spaces. The Our Future City Plan identifies the wards covered by its vision for the heart of the city and although not all these wards are “red” wards on our Environmental Justice Map, those in need of extra attention as far as environmental justice recognises, Bordesley and Highgate ward is important both in the OFCP and has been identified as a red ward. The OFCP has a key theme around a City of Nature, and our City of Nature Plan will help this vision to be realised starting with a pilot project in Bordesley and Highgate Ward to apply the plan at a local level.

Find out more about the Bordesley and Highgate Pilot

rating button