Broad Street Regeneration, Birmingham
DescriptionThe regeneration of Broad Street, Birmingham is the latest in the ambitious scheme of reinventing the City Centre. With more miles of canals than Venice, magnificent buildings, and a great industrial heritage, Birmingham has long been identified as a city with great potential for development.
The extension of the Midland Metro tram system to Edgbaston has been a central plank of the City’s future vision; the Metro system was extended into the City Centre, along Broad Street, giving an opportunity to renovate the whole Westside area of the city and reduce vehicular traffic.
The street scene along Broad Street has been improved hugely with Colas Rail UK being the main contractor for Midland Metro Alliance – the consortium of partners set up to build a Metro for the future - and completed in 2020 with the planting of 13 street trees in full GreenBlue Urban Arborsystem tree pit solutions.
In this case, GBU were proud to supply Acorn Environmental Group the RootSpace soil support cells that were installed beneath the paving on both sides of the street, giving good uncompacted soil volume, and allied with the ArborVents, to ensure the aerobic soil conditions are maintained. ReRoot RootDirectors manage the growing tree roots downwards into the good soil, protecting the paving for the long-term, and ReRoot 600 root barrier was installed where additional root management was required to protect adjacent utility runs. The installation was completed utilising the Castle double tray inlaid tree grille, allowing continuous paving across the pedestrian zone.
Broad Street is also home to the “Walk of Stars” – where famous local people are celebrated in inlaid engraved stars within the paving, and the Castle tree grilles do not detract at all from this fascinating feature.
The versatility of the GreenBlue Urban RootSpace soil cell system meant that the below-ground constraints were overcome simply. The modular nature of these high loading capacity cells enables the tree pits to be constructed around services and other potential obstacles, but without any restriction to the establishing tree roots, whilst maintaining efficient gaseous exchange through the unique “Airdeck” lid.
Birmingham City Council has long aspired to make Broad Street a tree-lined avenue; this has now been realised thanks to the work with the West Midlands Combined Authority works, and the future of the trees is assured as having been installed in the world’s leading urban tree support solution.