Baltimore Sun features Railroad Park as a source of inspiration for other cities

Jon Eastwood Pic of Railroad Park Baltimore Sun features Railroad Park as a source of inspiration for other cities
Railroad Park is a perfect part of our city. Photo via Jon Eastwood

Have you ever heard Railroad Park described as a, “a modern-day version of a Norman Rockwell painting?” National visitors, including this Baltimore columnist, are taking notice of Birmingham’s revitalization and seeing it as an example for what could be done in their own cities.

First please the residents, then focus on tourists

kite 1 scaled Baltimore Sun features Railroad Park as a source of inspiration for other cities
Kite flying at Railroad Park. Photo via Bham Now.

Naturally, every city wants tourists to drive revenue, boost the local economy and put on a good face to the rest of the country. What author Elizabeth Heubeck argues is Baltimore catered to the tourists before its residents—a mistake Birmingham didn’t make.

“What’s clear is that, while visitors are more than welcome, the park was built foremost with the residents of Birmingham in mind.

This may seem like a minor point. But when it comes to urban renewal, putting residents’ interests over tourists’ ever-evolving whims is a key decision—one that Baltimore seems to consistently disregard.”

Elizabeth Heubeck, Read the full article

Birmingham’s Outdoor Living Room

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we better appreciate living in a city with so much green space. One of the crowning jewels of it all being Railroad Park. We might take for granted just how special this space is with its proximity to local businesses, variety of trails and endless activities it plays host to.

While tourists definitely make note of the park and all its glory, it’s us, the residents, who truly benefit. Having a park built for its immediate community in mind contributed to the revitalization of Birmingham and sets an example for others to follow.

Other reasons the country should pay attention to Birmingham 

Ensley Alive 4 Baltimore Sun features Railroad Park as a source of inspiration for other cities
Ensley is on its way to become the most colorful place in Alabama. Mural by Erin Leann Mitchell. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Working at Bham Now, it’s my job to be the official mascot of Birmingham, but I’d do it even if it weren’t. We truly live in a city like no other and I believe it’s because we have community members who want to see Birmingham for what it was and could be, not reinvent the wheel altogether.

Ensley Alive!

Ensley is regaining the reputation it was once known for—a vibrant and exciting neighborhood in Birmingham. With the help of Brian “Voice” Porter Hawkins and others, Ensley Alive! is a movement to rid the negative images associated with Ensley and repower it. One way is by making it the “most colorful Place in Alabama.”

An area of Birmingham with so much history, including Tuxedo Junction, the point isn’t to remove the neighborhood of its past and pave over it with cement. In fact, Ensley Alive wants to celebrate it, while promoting a prosperous and entertaining future.

The Southern Silicon Valley

Noticed by Forbes in 2018, and many more since, Birmingham’s gaining national attention for its tech industry that just keeps growing. Innovative startups and new technology seem to be coming out of every corner of the city. Just take a look at the recent pieces we’ve written:

Did you know Birmingham’s 23 communities are comprised of 99 neighborhoods?

You know what, I could go on and on about the rich history and unique aspects that make Birmingham the best city. Luckily, we have Bham Nowers who do it for me with our user-friendly and factual neighborhood guides.

You can find the most recent one on Brownville and a list to the previous ones we’ve done at the bottom of the article. Happy exploring!

What do you think Birmingham? Share your thoughts with us on social @bhamnow!

Irene Richardson
Irene Richardson
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