Professor Michael Parkinson, in his Birmingham city centre masterplan scoping report, urged us to think big when considering expansion of the central shopping and business districts over the next 20 years.
He also made the very valid point that, sometimes, radical strategies will not succeed and when that happens you just have to get on with life and start again.
What you do not do, and this is where Birmingham has so often gone wrong in the past, is to moan and blame others through increasingly wild conspiracy theories about outside elements who apparently want to do down this city.
It is from that standpoint that we welcome the Big City Plan, launched by council leader Mike Whitby yesterday, who described the document as a unique attempt to transform 2,000 acres inside the outer ring road.
But first, let's strip away Coun Whitby's hyperbole - this is a welcome set of planning priorities, but it is hardly likely to equal the achievements of Joseph Chamberlain, even if everything in the document were to be achieved.
The council should be commended for retaining most of Prof Parkinson's recommendations, in particular the expansion of the city centre to take in Digbeth and the development opportunities afforded by the wholesale markets site. Maximising Birmingham's potential as a Science City and as a hub for the creative industries makes sense in a post-manufacturing economy.
The smaller, but equally important aspects of Prof Parkinson's study, have not been lost. There is to be an emphasis on developing more public squares, markets, street entertainment, parks and pavement cafes.
A much-needed food quarter will focus on independent restaurants and retailers, while a new urban village will bring families into the city centre.
Inevitably, the two radical proposals for transportation will cause adverse comment.
Pedestrianising the city centre, getting rid of buses and, presumably, cars is an interesting aspiration to have. No sensible conclusion about this can be reached until the planners explain exactly how the buses would be diverted and how passengers would be helped to reach the central shopping district.
Re-thinking the Metro line has some merit. Few think Government funding will ever be forthcoming to get the track up to Five Ways, and in any case there may be a better argument for concentrating on a link to the NEC and airport.
The Big City Plan relies on public consultation. The people of Birmingham must make their views known.