May 24, 2024 9:00am

Birmingham 2034: What should be the region's priorities over the next decade?

The challenges and opportunities that will define the Magic City's next 10 years

Photo of Ty West
Birmingham, AL Correspondent

Birmingham leaders want to see a renewed focus on improving education and workforce development over the next decade.

That’s one takeaway from the latest Birmingham Power Poll, a monthly poll of influential local leaders.

This month’s poll focused on the Magic City’s opportunities, challenges and priorities between now and 2034.

Nearly one-third of respondents said education and workforce development should be Birmingham’s top priority. Reducing crime (20%) came in second.

In terms of assets, local leaders say the region’s quality of life — including its food scene, parks and sports — and UAB, Southern Research and health care sector are the top areas of opportunities to capitalize on over the next decade.

Local leaders do believe both Birmingham’s trajectory and its external image are getting better.

Nearly 60% of respondents said the Magic City’s overall trajectory has improved since 2014 — a decade that has been defined in large part by a host of significant downtown redevelopment projects and the addition of several new community amenities.

Only 11% of respondents said the region’s trajectory has gotten worse.

Additionally, about 61% of respondents said Birmingham’s external perception has improved over the last 10 years.

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About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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