What we do

For over 100 years, Birmingham Civic Society has worked to make Birmingham a better place for everyone. We are a membership body made up of a wide range of volunteers who encourage community engagement and promote pride in our city.

We work across several areas based on our history and expertise to achieve this. Introductions to each of these areas can be reached by selecting from the list to the right.

If you would like to get involved in any of the work we do or think you have expertise you can share, then please do get in touch and, if you can, consider becoming a member so we can continue to make Birmingham a better place for everyone.

Citizenship

Supporting people, especially young people, to become active citizens and contribute to positively to the city.

For over 14 years, more than 30,000 pupils from schools across Birmingham have participated in the award-winning Next Generation Awards, generating solutions to key issues in their communities. The scheme is a free, school-led programme aimed at stimulating creativity and contribute young people’s personal, thinking and learning skills as they take an idea from concept to action. Find out more in this case study from 2018.

We also support Permission to Smile, an initiative promoting friendliness and community spirit through street associations and key local catalysts such as schools, churches and GP surgeries.

Heritage

Birmingham Civic Society celebrates the people and places that have shaped our city and put it on the map.

Since the 1950s, we have erected more than 50 blue plaques which recognise individuals connected to Birmingham who have made a significant contribution to their local community or excelled in their career. Explore the blue plaque map when you’re out and about in the city.

We also commemorate places of historical interest in and around the city with history plates. The committee – made up of heritage specialists and enthusiasts – research and consider all nominations – watch this film and learn more about the process.

Anyone can nominate someone for a blue plaque. To be eligible, an individual must have died 20+ years ago and lived in the city for at least five years. You can submit a nomination here.

Planning

Consulting on Birmingham’s built environment and its effects on those who live and work in the city.

Through the provision of professional, fair and constructive planning advice, we support sustainable development and promote high quality design.

We act as a critical friend to developers, professions, the local authority, and communities. We also engage with communities to provide support in planning matters which are a cause of concern. Find out more about how we can work with you to reduce potential friction in the planning process and achieve the best overall result for the city and all its people.

Trees

Birmingham Civic Society plants trees to keep the city green, beautiful and breathing.

Parks have been at the center of our work since the beginning and we work in partnership with Birmingham City Council to deliver Birmingham Trees For Life (BTfL). Since it began, more than 90000 trees have been planted with the help of school children, park volunteer groups, and businesses.

Public Art

Birmingham Civic Society promotes and protects public art for all to enjoy.

Birmingham has a strong collection of public art across the city and we work with partners across the city to ensure it is valued as part of our heritage and future. Over the years we have led successful campaigns to restore, relocate and reinstate sculptures across the city centre. We are also involved in Birmingham Big Art project.