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Aspirations of retailers and visitors towards the regeneration of declining streets in cities

Aspirations of retailers and visitors towards the regeneration of declining streets in cities
Aspirations of retailers and visitors towards the regeneration of declining streets in cities
1. Introduction
Cities have been described as transaction machines enabling human interaction (Stonor, 2011) with city centre retail spaces an integral part of the socio-economic fabric, acting as a centre of creativity allowing local communities to pass, relate and transact (Granger, 2010; Griffiths, 2015). Research has proven that city centre viability is essential to the sustainability of cities (Ozuduru et al., 2014), and retails’ economic and cultural role within a city requires study at multiple scales, from various theoretical viewpoints (Wrigley and Lowe, 2002).
The aim of this study is to examine how businesses and visitors perceive secondary retail areas and actual and potential interventions, beginning to understand how stakeholders compare and contrast and what impacts their perceptions have upon their behaviour. The paper adds to the ongoing literature on the regeneration of the UK retail environment by providing insights into the complexity and diversity of secondary retail and how this affects implementing sustainable regeneration.
Secondary retail locations have been defined as either; town centre fringe retail streets on the periphery of major town centres, urban district centres within large towns/cities or local centres which are the retail streets of small towns and villages (Hillier Parker, 2000; Tym, 2000). It is necessary to distinguish between these types of secondary shopping areas as they each have distinct issues that merit independent investigation (Tym, 2000). This research is specifically looking at peripheral streets in town centres where the hierarchical terms ‘primary retail areas’ and ‘secondary retail areas’ are used to distinguish between types of retailers present, pedestrian flows, size of retail units and rental values (Baldock et al., 2004). Primary retail areas are characterised by having a high representation of national retailers, larger units and high pedestrian flow and rental values. Secondary retail areas differ in that they are defined as having relatively small retail units and are predominantly occupied by independent retailers with low pedestrian flow and rental values. This definition concurs with definitions used in planning documentation which further state that secondary retail areas are within walking distance of primary retail areas
Turner, P, et al. 2018. Aspirations of Retailers and Visitors Towards the Regeneration of Declining Streets in Cities. Future Cities and Environment, 4(1): 14, 1–12, DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/fce.45
* Energy and Climate Change Division, Sustainable Energy Research Group (www.energy.soton.ac.uk), Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
† Division of Building Services, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, SE
Corresponding author: Philp Turner (padt1g09@soton.ac.uk)
CASE STUDIES
Aspirations of Retailers and Visitors Towards the Regeneration of Declining Streets in Cities
Philip Turner*, AbuBakr Bahaj* and Despoina Teli†
City Centre retail spaces are integral to the sustainability of cities, and within this hierarchy secondary shopping streets, which act as hubs for local communities and businesses, have become isolated. There is now a recognised need for academic studies to reverse these trends in these areas, especially in a UK context. This work analysed and compared stakeholders’ perceptions of urban interventions in a declining secondary retail area in Southampton. The investigation was based on interviews and surveys of stakeholders, as well as observational studies enhanced through analysis of secondary data.
This paper presents the outcomes of such investigations addressing the perceptions and behaviours of retailers and visitors, focusing on where these are aligned or divided. The overall results reveal that retailers are more concerned with ‘static’ improvements, such as parking provisions or building façade improvements, while visitors are concerned with active and spatial improvements, with street level interventions being the most important. The results also show that (a) whilst retailers may believe that they understand what visitors require; they differ greatly and (b) many aspirations of retailers are costly or dependant on other businesses’ intentions. Visitor’s desires: include the reuse of vacant stores and creation of public space, which are far more viable, and can be enacted by governance. Such options should be trialled as a means to educate and improve understanding of less traditional interventions. The paper also provides input on ways to make these failing areas more sustainable through a shared vision and wide applicability.
Retail; Regeneration; Sustainability; Cities; Public space
2363-9075
1-12
Turner, Phillip
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Bahaj, Abubakr
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Teli, Despoina
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Turner, Phillip
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Bahaj, Abubakr
a64074cc-2b6e-43df-adac-a8437e7f1b37
Teli, Despoina
4e57e6dd-e0dc-49ef-b711-974ba1c978df

Turner, Phillip, Bahaj, Abubakr and Teli, Despoina (2018) Aspirations of retailers and visitors towards the regeneration of declining streets in cities. Future Cities and Environment, 4 (1), 1-12. (doi:10.5334/fce.45).

Record type: Article

Abstract

1. Introduction
Cities have been described as transaction machines enabling human interaction (Stonor, 2011) with city centre retail spaces an integral part of the socio-economic fabric, acting as a centre of creativity allowing local communities to pass, relate and transact (Granger, 2010; Griffiths, 2015). Research has proven that city centre viability is essential to the sustainability of cities (Ozuduru et al., 2014), and retails’ economic and cultural role within a city requires study at multiple scales, from various theoretical viewpoints (Wrigley and Lowe, 2002).
The aim of this study is to examine how businesses and visitors perceive secondary retail areas and actual and potential interventions, beginning to understand how stakeholders compare and contrast and what impacts their perceptions have upon their behaviour. The paper adds to the ongoing literature on the regeneration of the UK retail environment by providing insights into the complexity and diversity of secondary retail and how this affects implementing sustainable regeneration.
Secondary retail locations have been defined as either; town centre fringe retail streets on the periphery of major town centres, urban district centres within large towns/cities or local centres which are the retail streets of small towns and villages (Hillier Parker, 2000; Tym, 2000). It is necessary to distinguish between these types of secondary shopping areas as they each have distinct issues that merit independent investigation (Tym, 2000). This research is specifically looking at peripheral streets in town centres where the hierarchical terms ‘primary retail areas’ and ‘secondary retail areas’ are used to distinguish between types of retailers present, pedestrian flows, size of retail units and rental values (Baldock et al., 2004). Primary retail areas are characterised by having a high representation of national retailers, larger units and high pedestrian flow and rental values. Secondary retail areas differ in that they are defined as having relatively small retail units and are predominantly occupied by independent retailers with low pedestrian flow and rental values. This definition concurs with definitions used in planning documentation which further state that secondary retail areas are within walking distance of primary retail areas
Turner, P, et al. 2018. Aspirations of Retailers and Visitors Towards the Regeneration of Declining Streets in Cities. Future Cities and Environment, 4(1): 14, 1–12, DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/fce.45
* Energy and Climate Change Division, Sustainable Energy Research Group (www.energy.soton.ac.uk), Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
† Division of Building Services, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, SE
Corresponding author: Philp Turner (padt1g09@soton.ac.uk)
CASE STUDIES
Aspirations of Retailers and Visitors Towards the Regeneration of Declining Streets in Cities
Philip Turner*, AbuBakr Bahaj* and Despoina Teli†
City Centre retail spaces are integral to the sustainability of cities, and within this hierarchy secondary shopping streets, which act as hubs for local communities and businesses, have become isolated. There is now a recognised need for academic studies to reverse these trends in these areas, especially in a UK context. This work analysed and compared stakeholders’ perceptions of urban interventions in a declining secondary retail area in Southampton. The investigation was based on interviews and surveys of stakeholders, as well as observational studies enhanced through analysis of secondary data.
This paper presents the outcomes of such investigations addressing the perceptions and behaviours of retailers and visitors, focusing on where these are aligned or divided. The overall results reveal that retailers are more concerned with ‘static’ improvements, such as parking provisions or building façade improvements, while visitors are concerned with active and spatial improvements, with street level interventions being the most important. The results also show that (a) whilst retailers may believe that they understand what visitors require; they differ greatly and (b) many aspirations of retailers are costly or dependant on other businesses’ intentions. Visitor’s desires: include the reuse of vacant stores and creation of public space, which are far more viable, and can be enacted by governance. Such options should be trialled as a means to educate and improve understanding of less traditional interventions. The paper also provides input on ways to make these failing areas more sustainable through a shared vision and wide applicability.

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Accepted/In Press date: 1 June 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 15 June 2018
Keywords: Retail; Regeneration; Sustainability; Cities; Public space

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 425757
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/425757
ISSN: 2363-9075
PURE UUID: f3910cdf-5cfe-407b-acdd-92aa32db012c
ORCID for Abubakr Bahaj: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0043-6045
ORCID for Despoina Teli: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7044-0050

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Date deposited: 02 Nov 2018 17:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:32

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