Snow Hill, Birmingham

Snow Hill, Birmingham

Public Realm Masterplan & Interchange Plan

The Challenge

SYSTRA were commissioned with Broadway Malyan to produce a Public Realm Masterplan for the Snow Hill area within central Birmingham.

The project follows on from, and expands, detailed work previously undertaken to assess the integration of Snow Hill station into the surrounding city (referred to as the SHIP). Multimodal movement patterns and the ‘place’ context were reviewed and recommendations were made for short, medium and long-term public realm interventions, presented in a clear delivery plan. The interventions proposed included the adoption of a 20 mph zone across the whole study area, with localised areas where the design aims to reduce speeds even further.

This was supported by a clear approach to street design through the identification of street typologies and their locations.


The Public Realm Masterplan covers the Colmore Business District (BID), and addresses the complex issues that need to be balanced within a busy city centre to deliver enhanced streets and public realm. Stakeholder engagement, detailed analysis of street function and opportunities for ‘place-making’ underpin the document. The stakeholders engaged included Council Officers, Transport for the West Midlands, and Colmore BID.

The Masterplan sets out a revised traffic management strategy for the whole area that allows access for vehicles but reduces volumes in key locations and also reduces delay to public transport. A significant reduction in on street parking and the associated loss of revenue has been balanced against the wider economic benefits of the proposed public realm enhancements.

Wider issues have also been considered. These include the effect of the proposals on air pollution, the impact of the proposals on the proposed ‘Sprint’ public transport investment and also impacts on cross city bus movement.

Priorities for investment have been identified which take into account stakeholder views, economic impact and deliverability.

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