Celebrating our success

Growing tree branch against a blue skySince I joined the Observatory I’m more aware of what is said about the West Midlands.

On 3rd June I attended the conference Skills and Knowledge for Sustainable Communities in London and was very pleased to find that one of the case studies mentioned related to the regeneration of Attwood Green in Birmingham.

I think it is nice to get recognition from other regions, but I believe it is even nicer to deliver valuable learning from the work done in our region.

The case study highlights:

the regeneration of Attwood Green is viewed by many as an innovative approach to urban renewal and may provide a good practice framework for similar projects.

The case study was developed by Napier University in Edinburgh – a summary (PDF, 762kb) is available.

Other projects from the joint research initiative discussed at the event are available from the University of Strathclyde. I’ve written more about this initiative in a previous post on a new approach to skills for sustainable communities.

However, I do not want to stop here. Key learning I took away from the day was not related to Attwood Green but to other relevant examples that must be happening in the region, and we do not hear too much about them.

Think about your organisation or your community. Is there anything happening there that can deliver valuable learning to others?

Would you like to share your successes and achievements with the region or even further?

I realised that this blog can be a perfect space to share, learn and celebrate what the West Midlands is achieving… what do you think?

No matter how big or small it is, if it delivers learning I’d love to hear about it. Please can you take the time to add a comment to this post.

As I said before, it would be nice to get recognition from other regions, but I believe it would be even nicer to deliver valuable learning from the work done in our region.

Photo by epSOS.de

5 Responses

  1. The Ashden Awards 2009: UK’s top green energy winners were announced on June 11.

    Businesses, local authorities, schools and charities were recipients of international accolades, and cash awards for saving thousands of tonnes in carbon emissions annually and leading the way in sustainable innovation, education and design.

    It was great to find out that examples from Coventry, Hereford and Shrewsbury featured among the winners.

    Details the Ashden Awards and the winner’s story can be found on http://www.ashdenawards.org

  2. Local residents and users of Warley Woods, a public park in Smethwick since 1906, formed the Warley Woods Community Trust in 1997 to protect, restore and manage the park’s infrastructure. The Trust has been so successful that they took over the park’s management from Sandwell and Birmingham councils in April 2004.

    Local residents are involved in the project throughout research, conservation, habitat restoration and community education programmes.

    You can see ‘before & after’ photos of their restoration projects at:


  3. Hello Susana,

    Where to start. You are absolutely right about how a blog can help draw together threads, encourage people to collaborate and get things movings. let me share with you a couple of examples of work I’ve done that may be relevant to you and this story.

    Back in 2005 i was interviewing active citizens in Birmingham and captured a conversation between two of the board members at Attwood green, about how they had turned conflict into cooperation. You can find it here, it’s worth a listen because they’re both strong personalities:


    Another thing that may interest you is a local site looking at environmental inequality in the West Midlands, it follows on from a conference in February Called Better Environments, Better Lives:


    It would be great to meet at some point.

    • Hi Nick:

      Thanks a lot for taking a minute to read the post and for sharing your comment.

      I just listened to the podcast and found it very encouraging and interesting. It is a great example to show that differences can be put aside and that active citizens and councils can work together. It is not easy, but certainly can be done.

      I had a look to your website ‘Podnosh’ (http://www.podnosh.com/blog/home/) and will definitively keep an eye on it. I am sure I will find there great examples for the region.

      Thanks again for your comment and please stay in touch.

  4. The Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries 2008 has been won by The Wedgwood Museum, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire


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