Council leaders hit back yesterday at claims they were not interested in sustainability by unveiling this design for eight acres of water gardens and green space in the heart of Birmingham.
The #12 million City Park at Eastside promises to be the first development of its kind in the city centre since Joseph Chamberlain opened Highgate Park more than 100 years ago.
Eight hundred metres wide, the park will cut a green swathe south from the Bullring, past Curzon Street Station and Millennium Point and on to the Digbeth branch canal.
International architectural design practice Patel Taylor have been chosen from a shortlist of 11 teams to deliver the project by the end of 2010.
The firm's winning design depicts a series of streams, jets and watercourses running the length of the park to the canal.
Delivery of the project is dependent on the council winning a #25 million Big Lottery Fund Living Landmarks Scheme for the regeneration of Eastside. If the grant application is not successful, the park will be built in phases over a longer period of time.
Ken Hardeman, cabinet member for regeneration, said the park represented the perfect answer to the "knockers" who claimed Eastside was not living up to a declaration that it would be a leading example of sustainability.
A council scrutiny committee criticised Eastside earlier this month, claiming that sustainability principles were not being followed.
Coun Hardeman (Con Brandwood) said: "Eight acres of green space in the heart of Digbeth is, I would suggest, very much part of our commitment to sustainable development in this area.
"It will bring people through Eastside and into the city's historic heart and it will signal Birmingham's ambitions to the wider world."
Patel Taylor, founded in 1989, built the Thames Barrier Park in London. The practice will be assisted by acclaimed French designer Allain Provost, the creator of Parc Citroen in Paris.
Andrew Taylor, of Patel Taylor, said: "This is not just a landscape project but a key piece of the city's infrastructure."
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