[ Townscape Interest ]


Urban Structure of Stoke-on-Trent


Urban Structure

The current built environment of Stoke-on-Trent is primarily a product of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and little built fabric dates from before the mid-eighteenth century. However, the street layout in many areas is considerably older than this, for example Stoke Road, King Street, and Honeywall. The Yates Plan, dating from 1750, illustrates that a network of roads had been established by that time, linking growing settlements, including Hanley Green, Penkhull and Burslem.

The City of Stoke-on-Trent is formed from an amalgam of towns and villages that have expanded and merged. This accounts for the multi-centred structure of the City, contrasting with the more typical structure of cities which comprises a central business district surrounded by concentric bands of growth, with subordinate districts linked by radial and concentric pathways.

The centres of the various constituent towns and villages have retained their individual characters to some extent. For example, the centre of Penkhull has retained some of its village atmosphere, despite now being surrounded on all sides by urban development


A further noteworthy feature of the City's structure is the unusually high proportion of green space, especially for an industrial city, for example Hanley Forest Park and the Greenways. This is partly a result of extensive land reclamation schemes. In addition, the linear nature of the City means that open countryside is reasonably accessible from all parts. The North Staffordshire Green Belt protects this characteristic by preventing urban sprawl. Green Wedges, open spaces and a number of Victorian/Edwardian Parks contribute to the variety in green and recreational spaces. The quantity of provision of green spaces within the City is especially important, providing respite from the built environment.

questions/comments? email: Steve Birks