Wolverhampton Connected Places Strategy
Movement & Public Realm Strategy
SYSTRA were commissioned by Wolverhampton City Council to develop a Connected Places Strategy and Delivery Plan for Wolverhampton City Centre. The project developed a vision for improving the public realm and connectivity throughout the city centre, to support economic growth and regeneration.
To articulate the interaction between ‘Movement and Place’, SYSTRA adopted an urban-design led “storyboard” approach to ensure the strategy could be easily communicated to stakeholders.
This included a review of baseline movement characteristics to and within the study area, based on evidence from available data, policy, consultation and field observations. Key issues were identified including the barrier presented by the ring road and the apparent lack of a safe, attractive and pleasurable environment for non-motorised users. This analysis was illustrated in a series of detailed concept maps.
SYSTRA also undertook spatial accessibility analysis to review the current levels of street network permeability and legibility to understand the spatial structure and integration of the city centre. Precedent examples were used to
illustrate opportunities for improvement in key spaces and routes, that respond to Wolverhampton’s identity. Finally the effects of current traffic managemnt approaches on the walking and cycling environment were reviewed, and changes proposed.
The Connected Places Strategy identifies a hierarchy of streets and spaces with clear typologies to deliver improved connectivity and an enhanced environment for walking, cycling and just ‘being’ within the city centre. A number of themes have been identified with stakeholders that crosscut this spatial strategy, including the night-time economy, health, fun and delight. The delivery plan identifies an action plan of short, medium and long term projects. It also highlights deliverability issues including project inter-dependencies, the roles of different organisations and governance.
SYSTRA are currently preparing a Public Realm Design & Materials Guide to support delivery of the Strategy by setting out standard design and installation specifications for streetscape elements.