In Solihull, our town centre enjoys a well-established reputation as a vibrant, attractive and welcoming destination for high quality shopping, business and leisure. Our public realm space provides the setting for much of this activity and interaction and is integral to the way we feel about, experience and see our town centre.
With a proven track record of attracting high quality occupiers and investment, Solihull is one of the best-performing town centres in the country. However, as retail habits and the way we use our local centres continue to change, we need to ensure our public realm also evolves. It’s important that we plan and invest now so that Solihull town centre remains an exciting, thriving and accessible place to live, work and visit.
As a Council we know we have a key role to play in the future of Solihull town centre. That’s why we developed our ambitious Town Centre Masterplan (2020) which takes a wider view of upcoming developments and investment opportunities in housing, leisure, business and culture.
Our new Public Realm Strategy (PRS) is intended to accompany and compliment the bold aims set out in our masterplan, while also aligning with the Solihull Public Realm Masterplan (2016) and Town Centre Conservation Area Appraisal.
Solihull town centre has an exciting future ahead of it. As new developments come forward at different times our PRS will provide an overall framework of design principles for future projects. This coordinated approach will ensure continuity across our public spaces and help underpin our strategic aim of supporting continued investment in our town centre.
Our PRS sets out a coherent vision for Solihull’s public realm, recognising its importance and building on the future of the high street and town centres post-covid. We want to guarantee a high-quality approach to the design of our public realm development. This should respect and enhance Solihull’s distinctiveness and identity to create vibrant and dynamic spaces that can be enjoyed by residents, workers and visitors alike and that celebrates Solihull’s history, character, diversity and future.
What is Public Realm?
The term ‘public realm’ may sound like Council planning jargon but put simply, it refers to the publicly accessible space in, around and between our buildings. This includes the streets, squares, parks and open spaces we use every day. It may seem obvious but the qualities of the public realm, from seating to signage, are fundamental to its use and help to shape the unique character, attractiveness and general feel of a place.
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