From the West Midland National Park Lab, an initiative of Birmingham City University:
Following the success of the inaugural West Midlands National Park Awards in 2021, we are delighted to announce the launch of the 2022 awards and open the applications process for projects from across the region.
The West Midlands National Park (WMNP) is a long-term spatial vision to deal with the challenges faced by the West Midlands that include the climate emergency, regeneration, environment, transport, identity, infrastructure, employment, skills well-being and understanding how to achieve a resilient green recovery. Endorsed by the UK Government’s Landscape Review, the West Midlands Combined Authority and Birmingham City Council, the WMNP is a means to an end; a vehicle to help drive social, economic and environmental change in the region. It is a vision of what the West Midlands can become when the significance of its landscape is properly realised and celebrated. The WMNP is about re-imagining and re-kindling the connection between communities and the space they inhabit, recognising the importance and value of ‘everyday’ landscapes and achieving real transformation in quality of life and quality of the environment.
We established the WMNP Awards to highlight organisations, communities and projects which either already align with the WMNP ethos (consciously or not), or who adopt this ethos, and in doing so to celebrate their part in transforming an entire region. Projects may align with some or all of the ethos depending on their scope.
WMNP Ethos (and award criteria)
1. Making quality of life and quality of the environment the priority.
2. Seeing the bigger picture by collaborating and crossing silos and boundaries.
3. Environmentally and culturally productive use and care of all landscape resources.
4. Engaging all communities in the climate agenda, focused on transformative action.
5. Supporting community pride, confidence and health.
6. Creating environmental and community resilience through landscape-based culture, identity, stewardship and replenishment.
7. Learning from local and traditional knowledge.
8. Connecting policy and practice in finance and governance.
9. Use of expertise to re-imagine the landscape.
The inaugural West Midlands National Park Awards, held on 10 November 2021 recognised, celebrated and shared examples of best practice supporting the development and delivery of the WMNP. A wide range of topics were considered, relating to the physical environment, wellbeing, culture, governance and financial innovations, policy and research. Judged by an international jury, last year’s winners demonstrated excellence in the way their submissions aligned with the WMNP ethos to create integrated approaches to the development, transformation and management of our physical and cultural resources.
Our awards are not about rewarding business as usual, but recognising proposals that are influencing change, catalysing action and informing debate. More simply – projects that have flair, potential, and the ability to make a difference.
The 2021 West Midlands National Park Award winners were:
- Black Country Core Strategy – The Black Country Consortium
- Our Future City Plan – Birmingham City Council
- George’s Park, Lozells – Friends of George’s Park
Podcasts are available online https://soundcloud.com/birmingham-city-university
WMNP 2022 Awards Event and Exhibition
The 2022 finalists and winners will be celebrated at a reception, media briefing and exhibition, held in the newly opened Birmingham City University STEAMhouse building in November.
Finalists and award winners form part of a network of WMNP partners sharing knowledge, best practice and delivery in the transformation of the region and will be showcased on our soon-to-be-launched website. In addition they will form a bank of case-studies for BCU’s students to study.
If you have a project that you would like to nominate, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with names, locations and web/social media links, plus
- Your contact details.
- Details of the organision.
- Details of the project (location, maps, images, video etc.).
- How the project / organisation aligns with the WMNP ethos.
Our network of international experts at Birmingham City University’s WMNP Lab can support applications and are available for bespoke advice and consultation.