Pedestrian vs Car: Birmingham's Landmark Car Parks and Subways // Roxanna Collins

Sun 28 Apr 1pm

Meet: Outside Local Travel Office, New Street Station (Stephenson Street entrance) B2 4BL

The pneumatic tyre, the one way street and houses built with garages for cars are all Birmingham inventions. The country’s first motor cars were built here, not long after Karl Benz’s famous creation and Birmingham has since created popular makes and models from the Mini to the Jaguar. The post-war rebuilding of Birmingham famously rerouted its pedestrians underground to free up the surface for cars. Flyovers and the Ring Road characterised the Birmingham cityscape. It was a bold experiment but one that ultimately demonstrated the negative side effects on the city, its people and the economy. With the closure of Longbridge, the golden era of the twentieth century seemed to come to a close.

What is the legacy of this Birmingham as motor city? How do we treat our subway spaces today and how do we feel about our car parks? This 100 minute walk will explore aspects of the city's social, architectural and town planning history by taking a closer look at key car park and pedestrian subway landmarks around the city centre.

About Roxanna:

Roxanna is interested in walking and urban geography as art forms; in particular, reappropriation of city spaces and alternative functions.


  • Footwear suitable for urban walking and weather-appropriate clothing essential.

  • Route includes ramps and steps.

  • Active car parks - not suitable for children.

  • Pedestrian Vs Car first ran during the third Still Walking Festival in 2013.