Jez Higgins

Freelance software grandad
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Sunday 28 April 2019 The Forest Road Reader, No 2.16 : More Canals

There’s an old chestnut about Birmingham having more canals than Venice. Since Birmingham is very, very large and Venice is very tiny - Venice would fit comfortably inside the Middleway with plenty of room left over - this seems like an banal and redundant observation.

In fact, the difference between the two is rather less than you might think - Birmingham has around 58km of canal, while Venice has 42km. Given a population about around a million against Venice’s 62,000, that actually means that Birmigham is vastly under-canaled. It has a trifling 5⅘cm of canal per head of population against Venice’s magisterial 67¾cm.

For Birmingham to reach Venice-equality we would need to build another 620km of canal. I’m guessing now, but that would probably mean digging out all the main roads into the city and flooding them. I would entirely support such an enterprise, as it would not only put Venice in its place, but immediately exceed Birmingham’s clean air strategy goals, improve the urban landscape, boost biodiversity hugely, enable the construction of miles and miles of walking and cycling routes, and give every other UK city a good old poke in the eye.

What’s not to like?


Tagged birmingham, and venice


Jez Higgins

Freelance software grandad
software created
extended or repaired

Follow me on Twitter
Applications, Libraries, Code
Talks & Presentations

Hire me
Contact

Older posts are available in the archive or through tags.

Feed