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High Streets in Lockdown: The effect of location and composition on high street resilience in London
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government has applied national and regional lockdowns that have greatly reduced the ability to travel for daily activities such as work or shopping. The changes in behaviour resulting from these restrictions have had spatial implications by creating a shift in the urban system, and particularly the urban retail system. High streets located near offices have seen great reductions in footfall whereas those located near residential hubs were most resilient. During lockdown, high accessibility of the area by public transport and high median household income of the catchment area both led to lower footfall. However, high ratios of retail, residential and leisure land uses increased footfall, as well as distance to central London and high residential density within the high street catchment. Our findings show that, to create resilient high street, there should be a greater push for residential uses on and around the high street, and a preservation or increase of retail units, as well as a decrease in the centralisation of the workplace. Whilst there are certainly dangers to the deregulation of the planning system, the adaptability that it facilitates for land use change may allow for the creation of such resilient high street. Findings also encourage policies that seek to decentralise urban systems, such as the 15-minute city model.

Shared with the World by Elangkathir Duhindan

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How can the design of a high street promote social inclusion and attempt to accommodate both poor and wealth community groups and their needs?
Social segregation between the rich and poor is an issue that London and other big cities struggle to fight. This issue is universal that it may exist between different neighbourhoods or in the same housing block. Bias and distrust between the poor and rich caused by lack of social contacts may adversely affect cohesion and stable social relations.  An inclusive high street that accommodates both poor and wealth community groups and their needs encourages interaction between people from different social backgrounds. This research examined three high streets in rich and poor neighbourhoods to explore how they support local residents’ economic and social daily activities. Street observation, surveying people and designer interviews were applied to understand factors that shape an inclusive high street from different aspects. Various store types with a wide range of price choice and well-managed public space play a critical role in promoting social inclusion of poor and wealthy community groups. Street physical characteristics (e.g. sidewalk width, availability of seating) have universal positive impact on enhancing sociability and inclusivity of each social groups. These findings could be reference for urban designers when planning for mixed-income communities.

Shared with the World by Elangkathir Duhindan

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How has the evolving role of women contributed to driving change in UK Town Centres
Abstract Is the importance of women on the High Street being overlooked? Debate around the current state of town centres has been intense. The demise of household names such as Woolworths and BHS has led to deep concern as to whether it is reconfiguring, or imploding. There is a lot at stake as town centres generate great social and economic value. A range of stakeholders are working to identify the drivers behind the instability in order to subvert the decline. Online shopping is highlighted as the greatest threat in an array of others, including taxation, high retail rents, inflexible leases, fragmented ownership, out-of-town centres, and poor infrastructure and built environments. Policy discussion and development target these areas. Little attention is paid to the most important factor, the consumer. Women undertake or influence up to 80% of purchases, they are the main consumer. If footfall is down in town centres, this must be due to changes in their shopping habits. Focusing on women in the London Boroughs of Lewisham and Bromley, the aim was to test whether the evolving role of women is the foundation for changing shopping habits and, ultimately, town centre woes. Looking through the prism of feminist geography, the home, work, leisure and shopping spaces that women inhabit, and mobility between these, were analysed. It was found that women’s roles and attitudes across all age ranges are changing and their shopping behaviour reflects this, with wide ranging policy implications.

Shared with the World by Elangkathir Duhindan

This list was generated on Sun Feb 25 16:24:15 2024 UTC.