Birmingham’s Master Plan Was Revealed and We’ve Got the Rundown. (PHOTOS included)

New decade. New master plan for Birmingham. Photo via downtownbhamplan.com

Birmingham continues to boom and we love to see it! Big opportunities are coming to the city. Local leaders and organizations presented the master plan for the city center earlier this December. Keep reading to see what the future holds for our wonderful Magic City.

What Does Birmingham Want to See More of?

Birmingham, city
Have you ever looked into the sun? That’s how bright Birmingham’s future is! Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, the City of Birmingham and REV Birmingham collaborated to create a comprehensive master plan for the city center.

They listened to your suggestions and these are the 4 major concepts the master plan will focus on:

  • Demographics: Demand for urban housing
  • Economy: Demand for urban office space
  • Shopping and Entertainment: Demand for urban shopping and dining
  • Mobility: Less parking and streets that are made for everyone

Here’s What the Future of Birmingham Looks Like

The master plan will cover these 4 square miles of Birmingham. Photo via downtownbhamplan.com

The Birmingham master plan covers 4 square miles and breaks the city down into 6 major sections: The Civil Rights District, Innovation District, Uptown, Lakeview, Five Points South and the City Center Core.

The Civil Rights District

The future is bright for the Civil Rights District. This district serves as the heart of the Civil Rights Movement for the nation and has a legacy worth taking care of. For an area with so much history, there is little private investment and the master plan aims to change that.

Plans for the Civil Rights District focuses on economic development and historic preservation. Planners want to show some love to the historic Kelly Ingram Park with renovations and new housing along the edges to enliven the green space. With the international Global Forum for Freedom and Justice in the works, there’ll be a lot of deserved attention on the Civil Rights District.

You can also expect to see pedestrian and bike-friendly improvements such as five miles of protected bike/scooter lanes. In the near future, you may not even need a car to get around downtown.

Innovation District

The master plan for the Innovation District aims to expand the success brewing in the Innovation Depot throughout the surrounding area. By letting the creativity found in the Innovation Depot positively influence the district rather than a single building, the area would gain vibrancy and hopefully mixed-use building developments that reclaim dead space around Innovation Depot.

New housing in this district would attract restaurants, bars, stores, and unique use of public spaces. With Railroad Park just a short walk away, it truly will be a one-stop-shop where people can live and work.

The Innovation District will also see new streetscapes on 16th Street North to help connect to the Civil Rights District. Expect to see the energetic, inventive spirit of the area reflected in the landscape.

Uptown

Uptown‘s got big things coming! With the building of the Protective Stadium, this district is sure to be a popular entertainment hub. However, the master plan aims to diversify the Uptown district for non-visitor activities by introducing housing.

Currently, there’s an abundance of parking lots sprawled throughout the district. The goal is to introduce mixed-use development to the area. This means apartments, storefronts, and additional restaurants.

Be on the lookout for new green spaces under and around the new interstate. Click here for a sneak peek at the renderings for the space under the 59/20 bridges.

Lakeview Neighborhood

Planners want to focus on 1st Avenue South between the Rotary Trail and Sloss Furnaces in the Lakeview Neighborhood. The awesome location and surplus land in this area present a great opportunity for developers. The neighborhood encompasses Pepper Place and will move away from its heavy industrial past to a mixed-use district.

The development will take place along the Jones Valley Trail. As more people continue to move towards the city center, you can expect to see more housing options along this trail in the future.

Five Points South

Refreshing improvements are coming to Birmingham’s newest entertainment district. Within the next 10 years, Brother Bryan Park will undergo renovations to encourage a walkable, vibrant main street experience along Magnolia Avenue South and down to Southtown‘s redevelopment.

New streetscape will be installed along Magnolia Avenue South as well. Overall, Five Points South will be a fun urban oasis where people can relax, eat and cut loose.

City Center Core

The plans for the city center core revolves around 20th Street. It’s probably my favorite street in Birmingham. Why? The tree-lined streets, sidewalks full of some of my fave restaurants and the liveliness of it all. The master plan aims to renovate and modernize the public realm known as the Birmingham Green—20th Street North and Linn Park.

The Birmingham Green is due for some maintenance to extend a pedestrian-friendly vibe all the way to Five Points South. So expect renovated sidewalks, improved landscaping, and fewer empty storefronts.

Planners also want to spread a sense of creativity throughout the city center. I mean who doesn’t love a good mural for their Instagram feed? The plan is to create a placemaking program to encourage temporary and permanent works of art throughout the city center.


Want to learn more about some of Birmingham’s major projects? We’ve got you covered.

Birmingham’s last master plan was completed in 2004. Since then, the city has come a long way. We’ve seen renovations of historic buildings, mixed-use developments and strategic investments in local businesses.

All are welcome in Birmingham’s City Center where opportunity is cast in the foundry of innovation and creativity. Steeped in the history of the industrial south and the Civil Rights Movement, we are a place full of beautiful streets and parks, successful businesses, a world-class university and health system, diverse neighborhoods, and vibrant cultural and entertainment institutions.

Birmingham City Center Master Plan Vision Statement

So much progress has been made and this new master plan compliments all that central Birmingham has to offer. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for the Magic City!

To keep up with the latest and greatest in Birmingham news, follow us on social @BhamNow.

  • Chaise is a brunch-loving Content Producer and helps manage the Bham Now Instagram account.