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Quality Streetscapes - April 2012


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Quality Streetscapes - April 2012

  1. 1. Activity and adaptability: have reports of thehigh street’s death been exaggerated?Responding to changingmovement, living, working and leisure patternsProfessor Laura Vaughan, Ashley Dhanani & Ruthie CarlisleSurbiton, Claremont Road c1914. Courtesy
  2. 2. Beyond the clichéINTRODUCTION
  3. 3. Perception of decline persists against backdropof nostalgia for past success. Is this correct?Surbiton, Claremont Road. Image c1914. Courtesy Contemporary image © Google.
  5. 5. Cities are very complex systems, but they grow from a simple idea: they arelarge dense aggregates of buildings linked by space. The space takes the formof a linear network, which we call a town plan or street network.
  6. 6. Not just retail: the high street as a generator ofsocio-economic diversity – By-product activity Business meeting Catching a train/bus/tubeOf 199 survey respondents: Coffee/tea/drink Do nothing/ hanging out• 46% were shopping Doctors/hospital/dentist Eat• 86% of shoppers were Univariate Bar Chart Split By: activity Get money Row exclusion: shoppers.svd Go for a w alkcombining with another activity 25 Gym/leisure centre/sports Library• Most common combinations: 11 Live here 10 – Coffee/tea/drink 8 Meet family/friends On school lunch break total count – Going for a walk 6 Park/allotments/recreation ground• Every-day activities 5 Passing through 4 Pay bills• Interdependence, 3 2 Post a letter Post officeby-product activities 1 Pub/bar School/college/university Observations Take children to/from nursery/playschool Take children to/from school Visit family/friends Wait for family/friends Walk the dog Window shop Work here
  7. 7. Surbiton High Street Activity from 1869 to 2012 (inset: South Norwood stats for same period) "Third Space" (cafes, takeaways, pubs etc.* “Third Place”120% Offices & Commerce (e.g. Offices and Commerce solicitors, hairdressers, photographers Industry (workshops, storage, builders’ merch. etc. Industry100% Community Services Community (Education, Health, Religious, Leisure) Retail (shops, shop+production, banks etc Retail80% 120%60% 100% 80%40% 60% 40%20% 20% 0% 1869 1915 1956 2012 0% 1876 1915 1956 2012 n= 190 n= 165 n= 196 n= 240 * Oldenberg (1999) The Great Good Place. The importance of informal public gathering places.
  9. 9. Built Form change and adaptation c.1915c.1875
  10. 10. The ‘hidden gem’: taking advantage of the internet to increase physical footfall
  11. 11. Suburban adaptability - sustainability From Cinema to Bingo Hall to Pub Backyard workshops in high street interland.The Coronation Hall, Surbiton (1911) © projectkevp. Allows for diversity of users and activities • Future of centres is same as past: not to rely on retail alone but to encourage greater mixing within the block or even unit • Smaller centres have the potential to provide a more targeted, genuinely sustainable growth, because of their scale and urban form: enabling local/non-local transactions alongside each other • Adaptability of the built environment relates to flexibility of use classes and ability of network to carry different movement scales
  12. 12. Adaptable Suburbs ProjectVictor BuchliRuthie CarlisleAshley DhananiClaire EllulSam GriffithsMuki HaklayDavid JeevendrampillaiPatrick RicklesLaura Vaughan @AdaptableSuburb @urban_formation