Many residents in Birmingham feel that the negative views held by people from outside their neighbourhood are damaging the reputation of their local area. Some residents feel that these negative views are responsible for creating barriers to employment and as a result lower people’s self esteem.
The Place KLOE heard that many young people in Alum Rock wouldn’t include the area in their address when completing application forms. Residents felt that a stigma is often attached to their local area by outsiders.
It seems that there is a need to sell our neighbourhoods better, promoting some of the positive things are happening in areas rather than just reflecting on negative statistics. How many people in Birmingham know that people from all over the country travel to Alum Rock Road to do their shopping?
There is strong sense of pride across Birmingham’s neighbourhoods, with residents across the city encouraging change, but also reluctant to hide the past and heritage of their local areas. Residents in Newtown have previously rejected proposals to change the name of their neighbourhood, as one resident commented “it is what it is – Castle Vale didn’t change its name but the area has changed.”
In Lozells residents described their neighbourhood as “notorious” this does not affect the sense of pride they have for the area. We also met with a group of 11 -15 year old boys from Lozells who were proud of their cohesive local community.
So in order to reflect this sense of pride, how can we better promote the positive characteristics of our neighbourhoods?