The nature of traditional mixed-use streets have been the focus of a number of projects, known in the UK as high streets. The latest explores the crisis in our traditional shopping streets driven by the rapid move to shopping online. The analysis focusses, in particular, on traditional shopping streets to ask why physical and local shopping is important; to conceptualise the distinguishing characteristics of traditional forms of retail and online shopping alongside the factors that determine shopping choices; and to explore different approaches to shaping the future of traditional shopping streets. Ultimately it asks, what are the key place-based intervention factors that can help to guarantee a future for traditional shopping streets?
This project was conceptual and speculative in nature, based on the heuristic investigation of professional, policy and industry discourse and analysis and of empirical evidence, leading to the generation of a ‘sun model’ of shopping choices. The issues are international in scope, although much of the evidence drew from sources within and reflecting on the situation in the UK with approaches taken in England used as a case study to examine three proactive intervention factors.
The UK is particularly advanced on its journey away from traditional retail and so the data and policy approaches being explored in the country reveal much about challenges and opportunities that we might expect as the existential crisis facing traditional shopping streets plays out around the world. Through these means the work asked what are the key place-based intervention factors that will help to guarantee a future for traditional shopping streets?