There will be those for whom Birmingham City Council’s tendency to talk in superlatives becomes a little wearying.
Scarcely an initiative, it seems sometimes, can be worked up without it being the boldest, the biggest and the best of any city anywhere in the country.
But, occasionally, an idea comes along that really is worthy of attention. The Big City Plan, setting out possibilities for growth of the city centre, is an example of something that demands and deserves input from anyone who cares about and has a view on the future prosperity of Birmingham.
Firstly, the scale of what is being proposed is immense. The draft document covers the entire area within the Middleway outer ring road – some 2,000 acres of prime investment land at the heart of the second largest city in the United Kingdom. Secondly, nothing like this has been attempted before, with previous efforts to map out growth merely piece-meal in comparison. Thirdly, for once the council is in listening mode.
Stung by past allegations about meaningless consultation when decisions have already been taken, city leaders are going out of their way to find out what people really think about the direction in which Birmingham ought to be travelling.
More than 600 individuals and representatives from various organisations will attend a Big City Plan mid-term report at the ICC next week to discuss a number of thorny issues ranging from the wisdom of banning buses from the central shopping streets to whether the Metro tram extension is really a good idea.
This is an opportunity, in other words, to shape city centre expansion in the next 20 years.
Whether you think the Big City Plan is good, bad or indifferent, have your say and contribute to the future of a great city.