Prof Michael Parkinson, who is advising the city council on the masterplan, invited the audience at the  Birmingham Conference to consider how the city might be judged according to six different categories

Innovation and skills

Innovation levels are a little lower than they ought to be. We have to think about more innovation in products and process. We need to move more into high value-added manufacturing. Retaining a mobile skilled workforce is critical.

Skilled people have choice because they can work in many places and the quality of a city centre is absolutely crucial when it comes to keeping these people.

You need to think about the role of universities and higher education. There are good working relationships, they are improving but more needs to be done.

We lose too many graduates. They move away rather than staying here and creating wealth.

Economic and cultural activity

We need to think about encouraging more smaller independent firms. We need to diversify and think about creative digital and environmental sectors.

We need to raise the quality of the architecture and raise the quality of the public realm. You need to think much more about your heritage, about the quality of the housing and the retail offer. The Jewellery Quarter is good, but more is required.

Digbeth is a real opportunity. It is gritty, it's got architecture, it is interesting. Don't ignore it, you don't do enough.

Connectivity

The infrastructure is not up to standard to be a global international city. We have to get New Street sorted, we have to get the airport sorted, the bus system isn't quite up to it and you only have part of a metro. Other cities have more than that.

Strategic capacity

Birmingham needs a clear vision of its people, history and culture. A story for the future that is authentic. Don't reinvent yourselves. Be faithful to Birmingham. You need long term strategic leadership.

The city council has one of the largest asset portfolios of any local authority. We need to use this better to lever in private sector money. We need a more integrated approach by both private and public sector, singing off the same hymn sheet.

Quality of city centre

You can't disconnect the city centre from the bigger place. We don't want the middle ring road to be a new concrete collar like the inner ring road was.

It is hard to get around Birmingham. We have to work a lot more on connectivity. You need more independent retailers in the city centre and a lot more diversity.

You have to up the ante on the quality of office space.

You must not have a willing victim mentality. You must say to developers 'if you want to come and work with us, we want quality'. That is very much the Manchester story.

Birmingham should be increasing the quality of its development in the future in line with the Cube, the Mailbox and Brindleyplace.

There must be more investment in the public realm. A lot of the buildings from the 1980s are getting a bit tired and need freshening up.

We need more for the black and minority ethnic population, we need more for young people, we need more for gay people, we need more for visitors.

We need more animation and street festivals to get the place buzzing. We need a greener city with more open spaces.

Eastside is a huge opportunity for a learning quarter. Let's really commit to it. You need a statement of intent there. Think big about it.

What kind of masterplan?

It must be ambitious, long term, sustainable and authentic to Birmingham. But mostly, it's got to be deliverable.

It won't just happen. There is no point having a masterplan and then walking away from it. It will need political commitment and partnership.

The first act of Birmingham's redevelopment, in the 1980s, was done by public and private money. Public money will not be available in the next 15 years, particularly not from Europe following enlargement of the EU.

Birmingham City Council owns two-thirds of the city centre and must create innovative partnerships to use those assets to attract private sector funding.

>> Brummies need to be like Scousers 
>> Time to unleash Brum's potential 
>> The search for Birmingham's heart and soul 
>> Raising the profile - but where's the voice of youth 
>> The Parkinson view 

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