Birmingham's lack of a city centre public park has been one of the biggest complaints levied against it. That and its lack of accessible waterways.
The latter has been largely addressed with the opening up of the canal network around Brindleyplace.
The former is, we are told, going to be sorted out with the creation of an eight-acre new park in the emerging Eastside district that connects the city centre to Digbeth.
The hype that went with yesterday's launch of a competition to find a design for the park calls for a concept that "redefines the concept of a park for the 21st century".
Unlike conventional parks, Birmingham's "green oasis" is shaped more like a landing strip.
Occupying an 800 metre (2,624ft) stretch that runs in front of Millennium Point, the current design is only about 45 metres (147ft) wide - narrow enough to throw a ball its entire width.
That said, the total space it will cover is apparently bigger than Centenary, Chamberlain and Victoria squares plus St Philip's Cathedral put together.
At one end of it will be the bustling Bullring shopping centre and Selfridges. Nearly a kilometre in the other direction is the waterway of the Digbeth Branch Canal.
But whatever shortcomings the scheme may have, the creation a city centre park is dream worth pursuing.
Cabinet member for regeneration, Councillor Ken Hardeman (Con Brandwood), said: "This is a golden opportunity to give Birmingham a component that will rival many of the world's parks and will be talked about for years to come."
Clive Dutton, city council director of planning and regeneration for Birmingham, said: "A project of this scale will be benchmarked on projects elsewhere in the world. It is a historic opportunity and it is giving something back to the people of Birmingham that everyone can enjoy."
Coming in the wake of the massive concrete redevelopments of recent years, it will be a breath of fresh air that is likely to capture the public imagination.
"Throughout the country there is a dearth of new parks," said Julia Thrift, director of CABE Space, a national campaign promoting better public park facilities.
"There are an increasing number of excellent new public spaces but there are no new public parks.
"That is why we think this project is very exciting and important. Whatever happens here is going to be hugely influential both in this country and around the world."
Ms Thrift said a recent project carried out by the organisation focusing on 11 world cities that had transformed themselves by focusing on public space showed how important parks were.
"They had become places that people wanted to go to live," she said.
"Businesses knew they could get good people in those cities because they were fantastic places.
"An emphasis on maintaining the quality of the public realm has real economic benefits and it is an investment worth making.
"Many places around the world are beginning to recognise this and I am delighted that Birmingham has. A new park in Birmingham will be an incredible asset to the city."
Professor Kathryn Moore, president of the Landscape Institute and a lecturer at the Birmingham-based University of Central England's School of Architecture, claimed the park was eagerly awaited "nationally and internationally".
"We have a unique opportunity in Birmingham to turn the tables and view the design of this city park as an investment.
"Birmingham can be a sought-after location for film and TV and all kinds of sporting events."
The £12 million city park is intended to be the centrepiece of the multi-billion pound regeneration of Eastside.
It is hoped it will improve the flow of people to the area where Millennium Point has struggled to make its presence felt.
The authority said 90 per cent of the land had been acquired and it was confident the public and private sector money would be found.