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The Birmingham Metropolis, also known as West Midlands Urban Area, viewed from Space. Over 2.5 million people live in this built up area. Wolverhampton is middle-left and Birmingham is middle-right. Dudley is lower-centre and Walsall is upper-centre, the eye of Sutton Park to the top-right of Walsall. Cannock is far top-left. Solihull is far-right of photo. The Ridge of Barr Beacon and Sandwell Valley cutting down through the centre of the photo separate the Black Country (left) from the City of Birmingham (right). Photo is orientated north-eastwards.

Birmingham is a city in the West Midlands county of England. The city has a population of just over 1,000,000 with a high ethnic percentage.

History[]

It is a city steeped in industrial heritage and generated wealth through this. The vast array of industries and factories within the city resulted in vast slums being constructed close to the city and the factories. It expanded at a rapid rate, requiring it to absorb massive amounts of surrounding land. Industry died down during the early 20th century but still retained a buzz.

Housing development[]

During the Second World War, it suffered heavily at the hands of the German bombers. It was one of the most heavily bombed cities in the country because of its industry. However, it also suffered heavily after the war to the developers who took advantage of the anti-Victorianism feeling in the city and the expiration of 99 year long leases on buildings with fine Victorian grandeur. The developers promptly demolished these. Again, Birmingham became an expanding city and as house construction in the interwar period had failed to sufficiently sort the problem, a new solution was needed. Many houses had also been destroyed in the war, and the dislike of the Victorian slums which consisted of terraced & back to back houses. The need to redevelop these was important. Birmingham designated five redevelopment areas in need of regeneration and postwar construction was focused up on these areas which had been slums or heavily bombed. Birmingham became a nest for tower blocks and council estates thus giving it the name "concrete jungle", which was further reinforced by the construction of elevated motorways, flyovers and concrete office buildings which made the city skyline an enormous density.

Between 1945 and 1979, over 400 tower blocks were constructed in the city by Birmingham City Council under the eye of Sir Herbert Manzoni and various city architects. The first of these was the Duddeston Four in the Duddeston and Nechells Redevelopment Area.

Large overspill estates were built such as the notorious Castle Vale estate, which has now been totally redeveloped with the demolition of over 30 tower blocks just leaving two. Another was Chelmsley Wood which has not witnessed and benefited from similar redevelopment of that in Castle Vale.

In recent years, Birmingham has absorbed other areas, such as Sutton Coldfield and has commenced a major demolition programme. Dozens of tower blocks have been demolished and large council estates have been wiped off the map such as Lee Bank. The inner ring road and Bull Ring were totally removed and redeveloped.

The city is now vibrant and modern with a variety of cultural aspects. It is the second largest city in the UK.

Many private estates have been built with low rise semi-detached houses and detached houses built in a better quality to those of the postwar period, though they have been criticised for their lack of ingenuity in design. Birmingham is set to expand again with a demand for more homes; 200,000 need to be built by 2030 according to the city council and Green Belt land on the edge of the city has recently been released for development and given the go-ahead for house building. It continues to redevelop and the population continues to grow, despite a slowing and partial decrease in recent years.

Birmingham Metropolis[]

The Birmingham Metropolis is an Urban Area covering the City of Birmingham, City of Wolverhampton, Walsall, West Bromwich, Dudley, Solihull and towns such as Cannock on the edge of the dense urban area. The city is still trying to understand it's identity with many of it's areas masking a tribal mindset, with fears of their local towns further being suppressed and ignored by central government if recognized under a single name. This is justified with the lack of money spent in these areas by the government, with other UK cities continuously being handed a better share of money in comparison to its population. Again there are reasons for this, largely due to Birmingham City Council misspending vast amounts of money on fruitless projects and being deemed unable to carry on running the city without government supervision and unprecedented cuts to all it's services.

Recently though it was decided that the region will get it's first ever mayor to run and oversee services such as Transport, Construction and Employment. The candidates have promised to re-open the countless disused railway lines throughout the city to ease the ever-increasing rise in traffic flow. This would also better connect the population via inter-towns within the city i.e. Walsall to Sutton Coldfield, Wednesbury to Bloxwich, Wolverhampton to Walsall, Dudley to south Birmingham (Frankley & Kings Norton)... With an orbital transit system unlocking the potential of the city's workforce which otherwise have little incentive to work outside of their locality due to earnings offset by travel time, it is hoped the generated wealth will help the area bloom and regain it's confidence.

The West Midlands Combined Authority has also just been formed along these lines and for the first time ever, the towns within the area are working together and supporting power being devolved to Birmingham from Central government 120 miles away in London. This is after years of disillusionment with the insular politics of Westminster and London.

For decades the metropolis has been fairly unwilling to work together but will now be united under one mayor, with the outcome in the election being a huge factor come May on the future fortunes for the area. For years it has been regarded (in relation to other major UK cities) as a basket case of under-achievement, high unemployment, a waning economy, dysfunctional ways, with murky vision on how to evolve for the good of it's citizens. The post-industrialized landscape of the area could be re-ignited through cleaner methods of manufacturing and workshop output, with the right goals, strategy, methods and clear vision for the road ahead.

Tower block complexes of Birmingham Metropolis[]

The gravitas (gravity of the town area where the clusters of tower blocks have an attachment to) and determination of Districts takes into account transport links, historical links, ancient districts and newer political boundaries which may not be the best representation of the local populous. A few examples of this:- After the miles and miles of elevated motorway highways were constructed through Birmingham and the Black Country, political wards or boundaries were sliced in two with little or poor links to the other side of the roaring motorways. Great Barr was sliced in two halves by the M6, with the northern half effectively fusing with the post-war housing estates of Kingstanding to become a huge superblock under one B44 postcode. Hamstead falls under Sandwell Council but is very close to Handsworth and Birmingham's main artery roads. Willenhall falls under Walsall Council but suffers from terrible traffic on route to Walsall because of the M6 bottleneck junctions, and has many more routes of getting to Wolverhampton. Smethwick is arguably West Birmingham but some inhabitants identify themselves as separate from any surrounding towns. Chelmsley Wood was built as a housing complex for a huge swathe of the citizens of Birmingham, but finds itself just outside Birmingham City Council's boundaries and lies inside Solihull Council's boundaries, although many of it's inhabitant's feel no connection to the town of Solihull's people. Yew Tree is falls under the West Bromwich town boundary, but has a Walsall postcode; since the M6 was constructed there is just one direct route under the motorway to West Bromwich, but many to the closer town of Walsall. The list of tower block estates below is a common sense breakdown of the West Midland's sky-scraping structures that people live in. A lot of them offered endless views and their piercing stands through the densely populated ancient Forest of Arden acted like reference points in a sprawling city. Many have been bull-dozed or demolished due to social problems and the landscape of the city has greatly changed since the Millennium because of this. Other structure that also once stood tall in the metropolis were Nechells Power Station's 3 cooling towers (now Star City), Ocker Hill Power Station's 3 cooling towers, Birchills Power Station's 6 cooling towers (north Walsall), Wolverhampton Power Station's single cooling tower, and north-east Birmingham's Ham's Hall Power Station with it's 13 cooling towers being an imposing spectacle before their demolition. Numerous Gasometer Towers in Nechells have also been demolished since 2000.

A total of 801 tower blocks were constructed in the Birmingham Metropolis. A further 32 towers were constructed in nearby Coventry and 43 towers were built in the satellite and overspill towns around Birmingham's vicinity.

  • EDGB ASTON - 114 Towers
    • LEE BANK (ATT WOOD GREEN) - 49 Towers (14 Towers Demolished)
      • VICE ROY CLOSE - 14 Towers
      • LEE BANK ESTATE - 12 Towers (5 Towers Demolished 2001, 2003 & 2007)
      • BELLE VIEW / BEN MORE AVENUE - 11 Towers (2 Towers Demolished 2000)
      • WOOD VIEW - 6 Towers (All 6 Towers Demolished 2000, 2003 & 2007)
      • SENTINELS - 2 Towers
      • FIVE WAYS - 2 Towers
      • HILL ST. / STATION ST. (NEW ST.) - 1 Tower (1 Only Tower Demolished 2013)
      • ARTHUR RD / CARPENTER RD - 1 Tower
    • LADY WOOD - 34 Towers (15 Towers Demolished)
      • LADY WOOD MIDDLE WAY - 14 Towers (10 Towers Demolished 1997 & 2002)
      • CHAMBERLAIN GARDENS - 11 Towers (3 Towers Demolished 2010)
      • SAND PITS - 4 Towers (1 Tower Demolished In... South HOCK LEY... 2009)
      • CIVIC GARDENS - 4 Towers
      • ICKN IELD PORT - 1 Tower (1 Only Tower Demolished 2006)
    • HIGH GATE - 18 Towers (7 Towers Demolished)
      • HIGH GATE ESTATE - 9 Towers (1 Tower Demolished 1999)
      • ST. LUKE'S - 6 Towers (All 6 Towers Demolished, 1 In 2002 & 5 In 2010)
      • SOUTH ACRE AVENUE (CHINA TOWN) - 3 Towers
      • ST. MARTIN'S FLATS - 0 Towers (Pre-War Maisonnettes Demolished 1981) JINNAH CLOSE / EMILY STREET
    • WOOD BOURNE / MEL VILLE - 5 Towers
      • MEL VILLE ROAD (MEL VILLE) - 4 Towers Conjoined
      • STOCK DALE PLACE / HERMIT AGE ROAD (WOOD BOURNE)
    • CHAD VALLEY - 3 Towers
      • RICH MOND HILL - 2 Towers
      • BOTANICAL GARDENS (WEST BOURNE ROAD) - 1 Tower
    • MASON WAY (EDGB ASTON PARK) - 2 Towers
    • WAKE GREEN - 2 Towers
    • BEACH BROOK CLOSE (SPARK BROOK) - 1 Tower (1 Only Tower Demolished 2002)
  • WOLVERHAMPTON - 82 Towers (21 Towers Demolished & Further 29 Towers To Fall Soon)
    • HEATH TOWN - 29 Towers (Heath Town Soon To Be Demolished 2017 Onwards)
    • BLAKENALL GARDENS - 6 Towers (All 6 Towers Demolished In 2002, 2004, 2007 & 2011)
    • WEDNES FIELD - 6 Towers
    • DUN STALL HILL (MOLINEUX) - 5 Towers
    • ST. MARK'S / MERRI DALE - 5 Towers (2 Towers Demolished 2010)
    • MOSE LEY - 5 Towers (2 Demolished)
      • STOW LAWN - 3 Towers
      • MAY FIELD - 2 Towers (Both 2 Towers Demolished, 1 In 2001 & 1 In 2003)
    • DARL ASTON - 4 Towers (All 4 Towers Demolished)
      • THE LEYS - 2 Towers (Both 2 Towers Demolished 2002)
      • CATHERINE CROSS - 2 Towers (Both 2 Towers Demolished 2005)
    • BENT LEY - 4 Towers (All 4 Towers Demolished)
      • PENNINE WAY (LANE HEAD) - 2 Towers (Both 2 Towers Demolished 2003)
      • WEST ERN AVENUE (COUNTY BRIDGE) - 2Tw's (Both 2 Towers Demolished 2006)
    • MERRY HILL (PENN) - 3 Towers
    • KEY WAY (PORTO BELLO) - 3 Towers (All 3 Towers Demolished 2003)
    • WILLEN HALL - 3 Towers
      • ROSE HILL GARDENS - 2 Towers
      • MARKET PLACE - 1 Tower
    • CHET TON GREEN (WOB ASTON / FORD HOUSES) - 3 Towers
    • PARK DALE (WEST PARK) - 3 Towers
    • WHIT MORE REANS - 2 Towers
    • FREEZE LAND (BILS TON) - 1 Tower
  • ASTON - 76 Towers
    • NEW TOWN - 29 Towers (8 Towers Demolished 1997-2006-2014)
    • NECHELLS GREEN / DUD DES TON - 27 Towers (14 Towers Demolished 1997)
    • HOTLE & PRIORY - 7 Towers (6 Towers Demolished, 7th Soon To Be Demolished)
    • BRIDGE LANDS (BIRCH FIELD) - 3 Towers (All 3 Towers Demolished 2011)
    • HAM STEAD (PART OF SAND WELL DISTRICT) - 3 Towers
    • GOSTA GREEN / ASTON TRIANGLE - 3 Towers (All 3 Towers Demolished 2011-2014)
    • SOUTH ASTON - 2 Towers (Both 2 Towers Being Demolished 2016-2017)
    • PERRY VILLA (PERRY BARR) - 1 Tower
    • HANDS WORTH WOOD - 1 Tower
  • KING'S NOR TON - 73 Towers (23 Towers Demolished)
    • DRUID'S HEATH - 16 Towers (1 Tower In Baverstock Demolished 2005)
    • TURVES GREEN (LONG BRIDGE) - 16 Towers (3 Towers Demolished 2005)
    • HAWKES LEY (THE 3 ESTATES) - 12 Towers (2 Towers Demolished)
      • HAWKES LEY ESTATE - 3 Towers (1 Tower Demolished 2005)
      • PRIM ROSE HILL - 5 Towers
      • WALKER'S HEATH - 4 Towers (1 Tower Demolished 1996)
    • WEST HEATH - 12 Towers (11 Towers Demolished)
      • WYCHALL - 6 Towers (All 6 Towers Demolished 2000)
      • STAPLE LODGE - 5 Towers (All 5 Towers Demolished 1996)
      • RED HILL - 1 Tower
    • HOLLY BANK (BILLES LEY) - 6 Towers
    • WHIT LOCK GROVE - 5 Towers (All 5 Towers Demolished 2003)
    • NOR TON VIEW (KING'S HEATH) - 2 Towers
    • NORTH FIELD - 2 Towers
    • HAS LUCK'S GREEN - 2 Towers
  • CHELMS LEY WOOD (INC. SHARD END) - 60 Towers (14 Towers Demolished)
  • CASTLE BROM WICH (TAME VALLEY) - 54 Towers (45 Towers Demolished)
  • WEST BROM WICH (Mostly part of Sandwell District) - 54 Towers (20 Towers Demolished)
    • CHARLEMONT / BEACON VIEW - 14 Towers (3 Towers Demolished, 1998 & 2003)
    • PRINCE'S END (LOST CITY) - 8 Towers (7 Towers Demolished)
      • OCKER HILL - 3 Towers (All 3 Towers Demolished, 1 In 1990 & 2 In 2011)
      • GOSPEL OAK - 2 Towers (Both 2 Towers Demolished 2006)
      • TIBB ING TON - 3 Towers (2 Towers Demolished 2001 & 2002)
    • KENRICK PARK - 7 Towers
    • LYNG - 7 Towers (5 Towers Demolished, 4 In 2003 & 1 In 2005)
    • GREAT BRIDGE / RYDERS GREEN - 5 Towers (1 Tower Demolished 2003)
    • TIP TON - 5 Towers (2 Towers Demolished)
      • DUD LEY PORT - 3 Towers
      • TIP TON TOWN - 2 Towers (Both 2 Towers Demolished 1995)
    • ST. CLEMENTS / HALLAM (CHURCHFIELD) - 3 Towers
    • HATE LEY HEATH / HILL TOP - 3 Towers (1 Tower Demolished 2011)
    • FRIAR PARK - 1 Tower (1 Only Tower Demolished 2002)
    • WEDNES BURY - 1 Tower
  • WAL SALL - 44 Towers (21 Towers Demolished)
    • YEW TREE (THE DELVES) - 15 Towers (13 Towers Demolished 1996)
    • BIRCHILLS - 7 Towers
    • PLECK - 6 Towers (All 6 Towers Demolished 2007)
    • CALD MORE - 6 Towers
    • PAD DOCK / TAN TARRA (THE CHUCKERY) - 5 Towers
    • THE BUTTS - 3 Towers (2 Towers Demolished 2008)
    • LITTLE LON DON - 2 Towers
  • FRANK LEY - 44 Towers (35 Towers Demolished)
    • BART LEY GREEN - 12 Towers (10 Towers Demolished)
      • ATHOL FARM - 8 Towers (All 8 Towers Demolished, 3 In 1997 & 5 In 2008)
      • KIT WELL - 4 Towers (2 Towers Demolished 1997)
    • FRANK LEY BEECHES / EGG HILL - 7 Towers (All 7 Towers Demolished 2000 & 2002)
    • LEY HILL - 6 Towers (All 6 Towers Demolished 2002)
    • BANG HAM PITS (FRANK LEY LANE) - 6 Towers (All 6 Towers Demolished 1998-2002)
    • SHEN LEY FIELDS - 6 Towers (5 Towers Demolished)
      • LONG NUKE - 3 Towers (All 3 Towers Demolished 1998)
      • WOOD COCK / LOX LEY - 2 Towers (Both 2 Towers Demolished 1986)
      • HILL WOOD - 1 Tower
    • RUBERY - 5 Towers
    • NAZARETH (REDNAL) - 1 Tower (1 Only Tower Demolished 1989)
    • CALIFORNIA - 1 Tower
  • DUD LEY - 32 Towers (4 Towers Demolished)
    • CHAPEL STREET / THE PROMENADE (BRIER LEY HILL) - 18 Towers
    • DUD LEY TOWN - 7 Towers (4 Towers Demolished)
      • EVE HILL - 3 Towers (2 Towers Demolished 1999)
      • OLD DOCK - 2 Towers (Both 2 Towers Demolished 2001)
      • NEW DOCK - 2 Towers
    • NETHER TON - 4 Towers
      • NETHER TON TOWN - 2 Towers
      • BAPTIST END - 2 Towers
    • STOUR BRIDGE - 3 Towers
      • HEMP LANDS (STOUR BRIDGE TOWN) - 2 Towers
      • FIRM STONE (WOLL AS TON ) - 1 Tower
  • YARD LEY - 31 Towers (8 Towers Demolished)
    • STECH FORD - 14 Towers (8 Towers Demolished)
      • THE MEAD WAY - 8 Towers (All 8 Towers Demolished, 3 In 2003 & 5 In 2011)
      • YARD LEY FIELDS - 3 Towers
      • COTTS MEADOW - 3 Towers
    • SOUTH YARD LEY - 5 Towers
    • ACOCKS GREEN - 5 Towers
    • WARD END - 5 Towers
    • SHEL DON - 2 Towers
      • GREEN VALE AVENUE - 2 Towers
  • ERD ING TON - 28 Towers (6 Towers Demolished)
  • SMETH WICK - 24 Towers (15 Towers Demolished)
    • FRENCH WALLS / CAPE HILL - 16 Towers (13 Towers Demolished 1986 To 2007)
    • WAR LEY / LON DON DERRY - 3 Towers
    • GAL TON BRIDGE (WEST SMETH WICK) - 3 Towers (2 Towers Demolished 1993)
    • LANG LEY GREEN - 1 Tower
      • OLD HOBICUS - 1 Tower
    • BLACK PATCH - 1 Tower (1 Tower Demolished 1998)
  • BLOX WICH (INC. BROWN HILLS) - 24 Towers (7 Towers Demolished)
    • BLOX WICH TOWN - 4 Towers (2 Towers Demolished 2008)
    • SAND BANK / EL MORE GREEN - 4 Towers
    • LEA MORE - 6 Towers
    • CATS HILL (BROWN HILLS) - 4 Towers (2 Towers Demolished 2005)
    • BLAKENALL HEATH - 3 Towers (3 Towers Demolished 2003)
    • LITTLE BLOX WICH - 3 Towers
  • OLD BURY - 18 Towers (11 Towers Demolished)
    • ROW LEY REGIS - 15 Towers (8 Towers Demolished)
      • LION FARM - 9 Towers (6 Towers Demolished, 4 In 1993 & 2 In 2001)
      • ROW LEY VILLAGE - 3 Towers (1 Tower Demolished 1998)
      • WHITE HEATH - 1 Tower
      • PORT WAY - 2 Towers (1 Tower Demolished 1995)
    • BRADES RISE (TIVI DALE) - 3 Towers (All 3 Towers Demolished 2001)
  • QUIN TON - 13 Towers (3 Towers Demolished)
  • CRAD LEY HEATH - 11 Towers (3 Towers Demolished)
    • BEECH CROFT (OLD HILL) - 3 Towers (1 Tower Demolished 1997)
    • HIGH FIELD / BUNDLE HILL / WES SON GARDENS (HALES OWEN) - 5 Towers
    • TAN HOUSE (CRAD LEY) - 3 Towers (2 Towers Demolished 1999)
  • SELLY OAK - 11 Towers
  • REDDI CAP HEATH (EAST SUT TON COLD FIELD) - 8 Towers (4 Towers Demolished)

SATELLITE TOWNS OF BIRM ING HAM METRO POLIS ...... 75 Towers (8 Towers Demolished)

  • COVENTRY CITY - 32 Towers (7 Towers Demolished)
    • HILL FIELDS - 12 Towers (7 Towers Demolished 2005)
    • BUTTS & CITY ARCADE (SPON END) - 6 Towers
    • RAD FORD - 3 Towers
    • TILE HILL - 3 Towers
    • EDG WICK (BROAD ST. JETTY, TOR CASTLE & PENDENIS) - 3 Towers
    • ATTOX HALL (STOKE) - 3 Towers
    • BARRAS GREEN (BARRAS HEATH) - 1 Tower
    • CARADOC CLOSE (WYKEN CROFT) - 1 Tower
  • LICH FIELD CITY - 8 Towers
    • DARN FORD VIEW (STOWE) - 4 Towers
    • DIMBLES - 3 Towers
    • LOWER SAND FORD (THE FRIARY) - 1 Tower
  • TAM WORTH - 7 Towers
    • BAL FOUR - 6 Towers
    • ER ING DEN (STONEY DELPH) - 1 Tower
  • ROYAL LEAM ING TON SPA - 7 Towers
    • THE CREST / LANG DALE (LILL ING TON) - 3 Towers
    • STAM FORD GARDENS / WAR WICK TERRACE (CLAREN DON PLACE) - 2 Towers
    • CHRISTINE LEDGER SQUARE (BRUNS WICK) - 2 Towers
  • KIDDER MINSTER - 5 Towers
    • GRAS MERE CLOSE (HORSE FAIR) - 3 Towers
    • ST CECILIA CLOSE (HOO BROOK) - 2 Towers
  • RUGBY - 5 Towers
    • ROUNDS GARDENS - 3 Towers
    • BIART PLACE - 2 Towers
  • TEL FORD - 5 Towers (1 Tower Derelict Or Demolished As Of 2015)
    • EY TON VIEW / AP LEY COURT (WELL ING TON) - 2 Towers
    • BROOK DALE (HAD LEY) - 1 Tower (1 Only Tower Derelict Or Demolished As Of 2015)
    • SEVEN HILLS PLACE (KET LEY) - 1 Tower
    • CORD ING LEY WAY / OAK EN GATES (DONN ING TON) - 1 Tower
  • STAF FORD - 3 Towers
    • MIL TON GROVE - 2 Towers (1 Tower Demolished 2000)
    • LAMMAS COTE (LITTLE WORTH) - 1 Tower
  • SHREWS BURY - 0 Towers (3 Five Storey Blocks)
    • STAPLE TON RD (MEOLE BRACE) - 0 Towers (3 Five Storey Blocks)
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