The West Midlands is a metropolitan county located within the English Midlands. Officially designed in 1974, it consists of seven metropolitan boroughs, of which, three are cities.
The area was mostly industrialised during the Industrial Revolution and has been hit hard by the decline in the manufacturing industry through the 20th century. As part of efforts to reinvent itself, major infrastructural developments were constructed within the county area in the postwar era - especially in Birmingham, with the construction of the M6 and M5, Spaghetti Junction, New Street station and various ring roads around the city. The Black Country and Birmingham also constructed vast council estates to rehouse those displaced by the inner city slum clearances. Birmingham alone has one of the highest numbers of tower blocks for a city, accounting for some 6% of all tower blocks constructed nationally.
Once again the areas are reinventing themselves as industry has continued to decline but also as the infrastructural and homes have become unsuitable for modern living. Sandwell has led the way in Europe for demolishing and refurbishing tower blocks, whilst Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Walsall have also invested heavily in their postwar housing stock.