City and Town Centre International Case Studies

Global economic and cultural trends continue to have an impact on city and town centres around the world. In many places, rapid urbanisation is creating new demands on local infrastructure. In others, industrial transition and natural disaster require considerable resilience and innovation. The shift to out of town shopping centres, along with fundamental changes in consumer purchasing behaviour, has weakened the power of city and town centre retailers to attract visitors. Online retail and social media gave consumers the power to demand more choice and influence markets. The impact of this has been strongly evident in the UK during 2018 as many retail chains have either gone into administration or issued profit warnings, leading to the closure of hundreds of stores. There is also continuing pressure on remaining shops to provide a retail experience that is both distinct from, and complementary to, the online offer. Similarly, cities and towns have to attract people to their centres by creating and communicating a positive experience for all.