This week, Anna Ward is joined by urban planning and retail specialists to discuss how the UK can revive its towns and what successful urban centres will look like in the future.
Ben Bolgar, Senior Design Director for The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, and Cameron McDonald, senior geospatial analyst at Knight Frank, kick things off by looking at the importance of creating towns with walkable access to amenities and ending car-dependency. Six months on from the publication of The Prince’s Foundation report into sustainable development and walkability, they discuss how the findings are even more relevant now as the UK population has only just emerged out of a third lockdown and remains focused on their local neighbourhoods.
They also look at how UK towns could achieve real lasting change using geospatial tech and whether the current business model for new settlements is broken.
Finally, Anna speaks to Bill Grimsey, author of the Grimsey Review on how to revive UK high streets and former CEO of Iceland. Looking back at his decades of experience in retail, he shares his view on what a successful future town might look like and how the UK could ‘undo’ the clone towns he says his generation of retailer built to create car-less towns full of experiences, open spaces, commerce and shops that are more likely to be independent shops supporting the local brand, and better in-town living for the ageing population.
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