Birmingham’s “New Century City” Comprehensive Plan: How it Will Work

The Birmingham comprehensive plan will set out a 20-year policy and strategic framework for the City of Birmingham. Guided by an overall vision that embodies the unique personality, culture, and heritage of our community, the planning process will establish a set of goals, policies, strategies, and implementation actions to achieve the plan’s vision for Birmingham’s future. This will be the city’s first full comprehensive plan since 1961. It’s our opportunity to set a new course for Birmingham in the 21st century.

When completed, the Birmingham Comprehensive Plan will provide:

  • A citywide vision, goals, policy and strategic guidance, and an action plan for the future physical development of the city.
  • Strategies for preserving the sense of place and identity that help to make Birmingham unique.
  • Ways for Birmingham to actively seek positive change and deflect negative change, rather than simply react after change, wanted or unwanted, has occurred.
  • Predictability for residents, businesses and developers.
  • Financial savings resulting from plans for orderly investment in public facilities, services and infrastructure.

What will be in the comprehensive plan?

The comprehensive plan will be organized into topical sections that include chapters, or “elements,” focusing on particular themes. These elements are then integrated into land use and implementation plans. The plan will include many maps, diagrams, photographs, and drawings to illustrate current conditions and potential improvements. The plan will be organized into six sections to cover the following topics, which will be developed with public participation and review:

PART I Setting the Stage

Elements in this section serve as an introduction to the plan, and include the guiding vision for the plan, the public process, and current city conditions and trends.

PART II Green Systems

Elements in this section focus on the city’s natural environment and resources, its park and recreation facilities, and sustainability practices.

PART III Neighborhoods, Housing and Community Renewal

Elements in this section include analysis and recommendations on housing, neighborhoods and neighborhood commercial districts, as well as neighborhood revitalization strategies, such as identification of “opportunity sites” or “opportunity neighborhoods” for strategic priority investment.

PART IV Prosperity and Opportunity

Elements in this section focus on the city’s economy and provide strategies and actions to maintain and improve a diverse economic climate and quality of life, including attention to the economic base, job creation, workforce development, and the role of downtown as an economic driver.

PART V Strengthening City Systems and Networks

Elements in this section focus on the systems and services that support residential and economic activity in Birmingham and connect it to the region and nation: transportation and mobility; public facilities and services; and infrastructure. 

PART VI From Plan to Action

Elements in this section integrate the goals and recommendations from the topical plan elements to create a future land use plan, provide guidance on land use regulations and design standards, and establish an action plan for implementation.

All of the above information can be found on the Web site for the Birmingham Comprehensive Plan


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