Sir Herbert Manzoni (1899 - 1972) was the city engineer for Birmingham during the postwar period. He was the responsible for the planning of huge schemes such as the construction of the inner and middle ring roads and the demolition of huge swathes of land. Following the completion of these schemes, his work has been criticised for being unfriendly to pedestrians who were forced to walk in crime-ridden subways.
Manzoni designated five redevelopment areas in Birmingham following the war which were redeveloped into huge tower block estates. Furthermore, he designated huge areas of land as inner-city newtowns, one of which took after it's purpose and was named Newtown. It was Manzoni's authority that led to Birmingham being given the image of the city of the car and a concrete jungle, all unfavourable. However, at the time of his work, Birmingham was seen as the city of the future.
He produced many publications outlining plans for buildings. He was also known to be anti-Victorian and not respecting the Victorian buildings covering the city. This led to the demolition of many grand Victorian buildings such as the little-known Grand Theatre to make way for the Priory Queensway, part of the Inner Ring Road which has since been downgraded to a tree lined boulevard, with the exception of Suffolk Street Queensway which proves to be a too-difficult task.
Manzoni was given a knighthood for his extensive work in slum clearances in Birmingham. This was made possible through his high authority in the Birmingham Public Works Department of Birmingham City Council and his dominating influence on the City architects of Birmingham which included A. G. Sheppard-Fidler and J. Maudsley.