There is a critical need in Birmingham for innovation in developing integrated and city-wide solutions that cut across existing policy silos and have the potential to transform the city into a prosperous, healthy and vibrant living place.
The Urban Living Birmingham consortium is identifying improvements to urban services by combining top-down urban governance with bottom-up lay and expert knowledge to provide an environment that emphasises and encourages innovations that generate a step change in urban service provision. It is doing this by bringing together, developing and applying end-user and open innovation processes (from business disciplines) and participatory and cooperative design principles (from urban design disciplines) to selected urban services and systems to co-create a resilient Birmingham that provides ‘better outcomes for people’ (BOP).
Most transformational service innovations occur when service providers go beyond listening to consumers to co-innovating with consumers. This user-centric approach to innovation reflects a process of end-user innovation in which users can modify existing products and services, but also service providers can learn from this process.
This is particularly challenging in urban environments, where infrastructure can be inflexible, costly and have extended lifetimes. Urban Living Birmingham brings together universities, Birmingham City Council, regional governance, civic organisations, communities, individuals, urban professionals and innovative businesses to maximise the potential of existing urban and community assets and ecosystems.
Urban Living Birmingham contributes towards the transformation of Birmingham into a city that is a regional asset and a global beacon for urban service innovation; a city with an exceptionally rich quality of urban living, increased social cohesion, reduced deprivation, increased connectivity and productivity, and a healthy urban population.