The future of the high street

market stall pic

Town centres are a vital hub of our communities, but many of them have been poorly served for many years by planners, retailers and property owners. This section of our site brings together our recent work and thinking on the future of the high street and our vision of what the high street of the future could be.

In 2011 we coordinated a submission to the Portas Review of the high street in England, explaining why any serious attempt to think about the future of the high street or town centres should go well beyond the usual debates about retail. This paper, The 21st Century Agora, was produced collaboratively with the help of a range of leading thinkers and doers including Action for Market Towns, Meanwhile Space, the Empty Shops Network, WiganPlus, Research 00/: and Incredible Edible Todmorden.

We also worked with the team that produced Understanding High Street Performance, the evidence review published alongside the Portas Review. We’ve been involved in taking the debate further since then, coordinating the first High Street Camp ‘unconference’ in May 2012, speaking at numerous events and giving evidence to two inquiries by the London Assembly – one on empty shops, and the other on the future of London’s town centres. Julian was recently the keynote speaker at the Mainstreet Australia conference in Melbourne (you can see the presentation from that event here).

Below are links to some key resources and information:

We also produce an occasional newsletter specifically about high streets and town centres. To subscribe please click here.