Take Three Streets

The New Millennium 

“Bradford has the topography to allow every citizen to wake up to a view – both physical and mental. Their collective ambition can create a place of extraordinary difference. I wish Bradford well.” 

Will Alsop, Bradford Centre Regeneration Plan Introduction, 2003 

The first two decades of the new millennium have seen the creation of a number of plans for the City of Bradford. These have been updated several times, due to external events, most notably the world economic crash of 2008, changes in local government spending and increasing concerns over climate change. Key developments in Bradford city centre included the opening of the City Park public space in 2012 and The Broadway shopping centre in 2015. 

Health experts have recognised that our mental and physical states are closely linked and people have become aware of the importance of Health and Wellbeing. More recently, there has been a closer examination of how different groups within the community are treated and respected. 

Of course, the biggest upheaval has been caused by Covid-19. It has had a devastating effect upon us, individually and collectively. Amid our day-to-day efforts to cope with these unprecedented circumstances, we have begun to think about the post-pandemic world; a new normal or a return to the old normal? 

Pupils from Green Lane Primary School researching their ideas for the Top Of Town Heritage Project, 2919
Pupils from Green Lane Primary School researching their ideas for the Top Of Town Heritage Project, 2919

All the above have led Bradford Council to establish a Sustainable Development Plan, following its declaration of a climate emergency in January 2019. This is guided by a number of principles: ensuring a strong, healthy and fair society, living within environmental limits, achieving a sustainable economy and using sound science responsibly. Partly for these reasons, but also due to public pressure, there is a new appreciation for and a revitalised desire to retain Bradford’s older buildings. 

Bradford 2020, John Dewhirst

Bradford 2020, John Dewhirst

As a stark contrast to the ‘out with the old, in with the new’ vision of Stanley Wardley in 1950, the policy now is to redevelop and repurpose existing buildings so they can be celebrated as unique features within the city centre. Most notable of current projects is the new Bradford Live venue in the Odeon Cinema, an apartment complex in the Conditioning House, the Bradford City Centre Townscape Heritage Scheme and a food market as part of the Darley Street-Piccadilly regeneration project.