The term “smart cities and smart towns” is frequently used when planning for future growth. This is about harnessing new technologies to connect people and businesses, understanding how they disrupt conventional patterns of land use and infrastructure.
One of the smartest things Shrewsbury can do is to remain compact and to direct new businesses towards real places and avoid perpetuating standard edge of town business parks. We have mapped where these places are, some are on the edge and need to become more intensive and mixed use, others located in and around the town centre and in existing neighbourhoods, re-populating and intensifying areas like the northern corridor, re-using and re-fitting existing buildings in and around the centre.
Networks need to be physical, involving better mobility between parts of the town. This is also about business and virtual networks that will link the Hospital, the College, training centres and business start-ups. Better networks can facilitate better outcomes, such as for example, understanding how to attract nursing staff into the hospital by delivering good quality key worker housing in the town centre and improving cycling and public transport links.