A 20-year vision to expand and transform Birmingham city centre has been declared one of the best strategic planning exercises in the world.
City council leaders were celebrating on Thursday after the Big City Plan took first prize at a major regeneration awards ceremony.
The document, setting out how the city centre will grow over the next two decades, beat off stiff competition from Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Genoa at the BEX 2008 International Awards, held in Valencia, Spain, earlier this week.
The annual competition, which celebrates excellence in how the built environment is designed, planned and developed, drew entries from Europe, America, Russia, Asia and the Middle East.
Birmingham won first prize in the best master planning category, beating a 25-year plan to develop Abu Dhabi, a proposal for a man-made bay in Singapore to host Formula 1 Grand Prix races, and a scheme to transform a former naval base near Genoa into an entertainment and leisure district.
Neville Summerfield, the Birmingham cabinet member for regeneration, who has overall responsibility for delivering city centre growth, said the award would boost Birmingham’s reputation throughout the world as a dynamic city.
Coun Summerfield (Con Brandwood): “Simply to be on the short-list for such a prestigious award was a great achievement, so to win it is amazing.”
Shaping the future of Birmingham over the next 20 years, and beyond, the Big City Plan will co-ordinate a regeneration programme worth tens of billions of pounds more extensive than for the London 2012 Olympics.