The high street: a stage for crisis, or workshop for reconstruction?


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As consumer spending shrinks and the way we shop changes, is the death of the high street an inevitable reflection of global crisis? Or do we now a chance to refashion the high street as a 21st century agora - a place for ideas, learning, leisure and civic involvement that will generate new markets? See this post for more:

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The high street: a stage for crisis, or workshop for reconstruction?

  1. 1. the high street: a stage for global crisis or a workshop for reconstruction?
  2. 2. in the beginning...there was the agora
  3. 3. the Wen: the agora becomes the sink
  4. 4. the Garden City:escape from the Wen
  5. 5. the Exodus: clone towns and ghost towns
  6. 6. ‘There is a concern that the High Street shopping environment to which society has grownaccustomed... is changing and we are not sure whether we will likeeither how it will change or what it will be changed to.’ John Dawson, 1988
  7. 7. 48% for the first time ever, lessthan half our retail floorspace is in town centres
  8. 8. ‘town centres first’ was only half right...
  9. 9. ‘In the UK, the free-standing,car-based, food superstore is now the hegemonic retail format.’ Hallsworth et al, 2010
  10. 10. the stage for globalcrisis #1: the end of the renaissance?
  11. 11. ‘The most recent period of investment (2004-2008) saw theemergence of the private investor seeking high returns from assets held for very short periods oftime... This “flipping” of assets has led to chronic under investment in some centres.’ British Council of Shopping Centres, 2010
  12. 12. the stage for global crisis #2: burning and looting
  13. 13. Bristol, May 2011: the ‘Tesco riot’
  14. 14. Croydon, August 2011
  15. 15. #riotcleanup, August 2011
  16. 16. the stage for globalcrisis #3: economic paradigm shift
  17. 17. 1982: last time UK trade in goods showed a surplus 76%: proportion of groceries sold by the big four supermarkets23,000: number of UK retail jobs lost, October 2010 to September 201180m: number of additional jobs needed worldwide to return to pre-recession levels is this sustainable? Sources: BIS, 2010; British Retail Consortium; Kantar WorldPanel; ILO
  18. 18. four questions: what future for ‘retail led regeneration’ when there’s no money to spend?what future for resource-heavy goods in a resource-depleted world? what future for buying when we’ve stopped making? what future for place in cyberspace?
  19. 19. back to the agora: a workshop forrethinking civics
  20. 20. from the Queen of Shops.... to a people’s republic?
  21. 21. back to the agora: newreasons to go into town
  22. 22. back to theagora: can the markets work for the people?
  23. 23. by the people, for the people
  24. 24. placemaking with dirty hands
  25. 25. setting the scene for the next act
  26. 26. four ways of thinking aboutgetting the town centres we want: 1 Footfall 2 Satisfaction 3 Diversity 4 Economic activity
  27. 27. creditsThe pictures are all Creative Commons or non-copyright. Thanks especially to: Slide 17: Stringberd Slide 18: Peter Trimming Slide 19: Liam Barrington-Bush Slide 22: Zach Inglis Slide 25: Daddiochap Slide 28: Katy Wrathall
  28. 28. thank you more from me... my blog: Living with Rats Twitter: @juliandobson