The Infill Between The Six Towns

The large part of Stoke-on-Trent’s historic growth was contained within the Trent and Fowlea Valleys. These districts were readily accessible to the upper coal measure beds of Etruia Marl and the Black Band Group. The towns of Stoke, Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley and Fenton all being located within these. The sixth town, Longton, an historic trading settlement along the Newcastle Turnpike being the only exception.

The city, viewed from Berry Hill offers a varied prospect. A matrix of development can be seen - most of it still contained within the low ground. Rows of terraced houses are a prevalent typology, standing rank and file, giving way to occasional industrial relics such as the chimneys of former factories. Greenery is also common, in places it is planned, in others it is a mere by-product of post-industrial decay. Tower blocks, all from the latter half of the last century, highlight the centres of Haney and Stoke. Contemporary sheds glisten, pronounced in their colour palette and materiality, giving a clue to recent forms of development. These disobey the historic associations of urban centres, instead patching together the conurbation.

Terraces of houses grew in reciprocity to industry, forming a structured urban landscape. Recent development of large sheds for outlet and distribution functions has defined an ad hoc programme of filling in left over spaces. How can the next stage of infilling the interstitial brown and green field spaces be structured to create morphologically distinct, yet geographically neighbouring centres.

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Terraced houses, former industrial structures and infill between Hanley and Fenton.

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houses, former industrial structures and infill around Hanley.