Oxmoor Valley, Alabama: New Urbanism Arises in Birmingham
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Less than 20 years ago, Oxmoor Valley was a wild pasture located just southwest of Birmingham between Red Mountain and Shades Mountain. Today, it is a 7,800-acre mixed-use community that houses a fully occupied light industrial park, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Complex and the University of Alabama at Birmingham-based research and development park for high-tech companies. Oxmoor is composed of land within the cities of Birmingham, Bessemer, and Homewood in Jefferson County. During the 1980s, the City of Birmingham partnered with the Metropolitan Development Board, City of Bessemer, Jefferson County, University of Alabama at Birmingham and property owners of the land now known as Oxmoor Valley. Birmingham's key goal initially was economic development retention (e.g., Bruno's, Inc., Parisian). As market demand for land in Birmingham grew, the partners realized the greater economic development potential in the thousands of acres of undeveloped land located five miles from the city center. Embracing the concepts of New Urbanism and master-planned communities, the partners created the Oxmoor Master Plan, a comprehensive plan that called for the mixed-use development of Oxmoor Valley and an integration of living and work places.