Peripheral Urbanism: The Edge of Sheds

A site visit to a district of recent commercial development in Hanley.

Descending from Hanley towards the Trent Valley, the Etruria Road marks an arterial connection to the A500. Etruria was the centre of commercial activities for the dynastic ceramics firm, Wedgwood. Little trace remains of this former activity, less the Trent and Mersey Canal.

A new form of development has begun to dominate, reciprocating from a spur of redevelopment in the early 2000s. The lower reaches of Etruria Road have attracted development on a substantial scale: numerous large single span structures line the road. It has become a landscape of sheds and adjoining carparks, housing a mix of retail parks and the headquarters of national firms.

It appears that the landscape of sheds now defines a new gateway to Hanley. This typological and programmatic condition is common throughout the city. Can a better gateway condition be created with respect to the six urban centres?

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Looking back to the centre of Hanley as the Etruria Road merges with the A53, before joining with the A500. 

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A view common to the Etruria Road. Large shed structures dominate.