To the north and east of Bristol’s boundary lies 75 square kilometres of largely post-war suburbia known as South Gloucestershire. This evidences the successive growth of the city over 75 years in response to perceived housing needs gradually sprawling to develop the former villages or small towns of Hanham, Kingswood, Staple Hill, Yate, Filton and Stoke Gifford. The suburban landscape is wholly unplanned and poorly structured for movement networks, and has a monochrome streetscape of largely semi-detached houses.
Only a few miles away in and around Bristol’s former industrial heartland, mixed use regeneration has transformed perceptions of the vitality and popularity of this West of England city, It has built new opportunities to live and work that are very different from the so-called ‘suburban dream’ that fringe South Gloucestershire was once thought to be.
Nash Partnership was commissioned by South Gloucestershire Council to research the socio-economic trends at work here. Through this, we were asked to build a future narrative for the area, identifying how – in time – regeneration pathways can be opened up. This is necessary to facilitate the introduction of the mass comprehensive public transport system this city region urgently needs. So, there is a need to raise the identity and status of the city’s peripheral areas in the eyes of new and aspiring future residents and build indigenous new local employment.
This is no easy task as, in such places, suburban land is highly fragmented in its ownership. Our recommendations now form the conceptual basis of the region’s 2020-2036 Local Plan.