TEDx Macclesfield event: Building community; strengthening places

community place
Photo: Simon Brown

By Chloe Steadman,

Over recent years, TED talks have become something of a global phenomenon; showcasing the work of the brightest brains from all over the World through their series of short, powerful presentations covering a whole host of topics. On 28th April 2018, Macclesfield, in North West England and close to IPM headquarters, hosted their own TEDx event to showcase just some of the forward-thinking ideas, research, and experiences from those with personal connections to the town. In TED’s spirit of ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’, TEDx Macclesfield connects people with a shared link to Macclesfield to spark conversations, share ideas, and help to collectively make positive changes to the town at a local level. The event was organised by Lynne Jones and Jude D’Souza with help from enthusiastic local volunteers. Jones explained the importance of holding such a renowned event in the town:

Macclesfield (as perhaps any town) is grappling with a number of big issues – town centre regeneration, mental health service provision, local governance and democracy, supporting start-up businesses, and of course Brexit – but there are fewer public forums where real engagement can take place and ideas can be shared locally… The more of us who put something in, however small, the greater the sense connection and the stronger the community becomes. The danger is that we are living in silos more than ever, not hearing from those who hold different views…”

This event was about dismantling such silos, and creating a platform for cultivating a network of local people with a shared passion for making Macclesfield a more thriving place to live, work, and dwell. The event was a complete sell-out, with an audience of 100 local people gathering in Townley Street Chapel- a community hub in Macclesfield. Although the speakers covered a diverse range of topics, the presentations were threaded together by the common theme of how collaboration is key– something which is integral for generating any place’s vitality and viability.

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The future of Christmas shopping

By Aleem Yousaf (Oxford Street) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Prof Cathy Parker and Prof Simon Quin

Figures released earlier this month show that Christmas shopping did not bring the gift of high street renewal to towns and cities around the UK. According to the Springboard Index[i], the benchmark for UK footfall, fewer people visited the high street, compared to the same period last year.

Shopping Week Change in footfall 2017/2016 (High Streets)
Week 49 -2%
Week 50 -10.1%
Week 51 -1.2%
Week 52 -4.7%

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Reflections on the 4th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places

Corfu Symposium Institute of Place Management Ares Kalandides
Photographer: Ian Southerin – Location Photography

By Heather Skinner*

The 4th Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places took place 24-27 April 2017 at the Mayor Mon Repos Palace Art Hotel. The Institute of Place Management (IPM) now organises the Symposium, and has once again provided formal accreditation for the event. The Symposium focuses on both theory and practice, on both knowledge production and its impact, and this is unusual at academic events. The IPM’s links with the Journal of Place Management and Development (JPMD) with its focus on communicating with academics, practitioners, policy makers and local government, is also a driving factor behind the balance between academic and practitioner input into this event, and a special issue of the JPMD (Volume 10 Number 2) has been devoted to a selection of papers from our past events related to the Special Issue theme of Responsible Tourism and Place Making.

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The football stadium and place making: a case study of Manchester City

by Steve Millington*

This presentation analyses the relationship between football stadia and place. It provides an overview of football related research by IPM members, including Tim Edensor, Dominic Medway and Cathy Parker, work that has primarily focused on Manchester City Football Club.  This encompasses both theoretical and applied research, and draws on both quantitative and qualitative methods, combing participant observation, netnographies, focus groups and latterly “big data analysis” utilising Springboard’s footfall counts from the #BDSU project. Continue reading “The football stadium and place making: a case study of Manchester City”

The experts are dead: Long live the experts.

Journal of Place Management and Development

by Dominic Medway and Cathy Parker

Journal of Place Management and Development, Issue 9.3: Editorial

On June 24th this year Dominic Medway wrote on his Twitter feed: “@PlaceManagement Places are ultimately made, unmade, defined and redefined by people before institutions. We’ve seen that today”. This was of course referring to the result of the so-called ‘Brexit’ referendum on whether the United Kingdom should leave the EU. The pollsters and the City of London seemed reasonably confident that the outcome of the vote, on June 23rd 2016, would be to ‘remain’, but it seemed both these institutional bodies hugely underestimated the power of the voters to exercise their democratic right to chart an alternative future. Continue reading “The experts are dead: Long live the experts.”

The Institute of Place Management goes to Russia

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Prof Cathy Parker reports on the Institute of Place Management (Manchester Metropolitan University) visit to the National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow and St Petersburg).

One of the main aims of the Institute of Place Management is to develop an international community of academics, practitioners and policy makers that are interested in making, maintaining and marketing better places.

In the spirit of international collaboration, Fellow of the Institute of Place Management, Professor Kirill Rozhkov invited Professors Dominic Medway and Cathy Parker, Directors of the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, to visit his institution, the Higher School of Economics, at both the St Petersburg and Moscow campuses. The main aim of the visit was to consider examples of place management practices from inside and outside Russia and examine the potential for mutual learning on both sides. The considerable political and economic changes cities and towns within the Russian Federation have experienced make it a rich source of insight into the principles and practices of place management and development.

In Moscow, Kirill had organised a Masterclass on Place Management Practices in Russia, with Russian experts presenting their experiences. This was a real insight into how cities, towns and districts are managed, developed and marketed, and was well attended by over 60 delegates. Continue reading “The Institute of Place Management goes to Russia”

The 39 steps – to understanding High Street performance – Part 1

Infographic-website_900x900This month our new Innovate project started. The project will bring big data to town and city centre decision makers, enabling them to optimise footfall whilst also improving the experience of centre users. The first stage of the project (running from now until Spring 2017) is very research focused.  Because we have over 9 years of hourly footfall data, courtesy of the project lead Springboard, the research team at the Institute of Place Management (Manchester Metropolitan University) and the University of Cardiff can really start to work out how and why town and city centres perform as they do.  Our findings will then be incorporated into a place management information system and a serious of dashboard products, built by our technology partners MyKnowledgeMap.

These new products will support decision making in towns and cities, by making important data more readily available and more easily accessible to the wide range of stakeholders who need to collaborate to build strong centres. Continue reading “The 39 steps – to understanding High Street performance – Part 1”

Footfall signatures research wins best paper prize

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Nikos Ntounis shows off our best paper prize at this year’s AM conference

by Prof Cathy Parker

Our new £1m Innovate high street and retail project may have just started, but the research underpinning our successful bid for the£1m ‘bringing big data to small users’ project has been awarded a ‘best in track’ prize for retail at this year’s Academy of Marketing Conference, held at Newcastle Business School.

The research identified new footfall signatures and town types the team had found in their preliminary analysis of footfall data, provided by Springboard, who are leading the new project.  The findings were presented in a competitive paper “Radical Marketing and the UK High Street: Towards a New Typology of Towns” authored by Cathy Parker, Nikos Ntounis, Simon Quin and Ed Dargan. Continue reading “Footfall signatures research wins best paper prize”

Working together for stronger towns

Oxford_High_Street_shoppersby Prof Cathy Parker

On the 4th July 2016 I was invited to take part in the inaugural Oxfordshire High Streets Conference.  I  am saying inaugural as the delegates found the day very useful so we hope there will be another one! As a place management scholar, there is nothing better than sharing place insight and debating its relevance, in a local context. As a researcher, I get to know a lot about problems and I get to know my data intimately.   But, my work tends to be read by academics and other people who also focus on the data/problem side of things.  This means I don’t always connect with the people who want to put our research findings into practice.  To get the opportunity to present our research on footfall signatures at the event was especially rewarding.  Having the chance to hear directly from representatives of towns that feel their centre’s profile is changing from one of comparison shopping to one that is more focused on community retail and services, for example, was really useful.  I got a chance to take part in the important debate about what this change means ‘on the ground’, in terms of managing the offer, attracting the right type of businesses, changing opening hours and communicating all these changes in the community. Continue reading “Working together for stronger towns”

Why the IPM directors are voting to stay in the EU

With the UK moving fast towards the referendum to stay in or leave the EU, we at the Institute of Place Management decided to join our voices with others. As the campaign is becoming increasingly irrational what we can only offer here are our own personal views.

‘The IPM believes Britain remaining in Europe is in the interests of all European places, and their management and development. Here is what the IPM Directors have to say on the matter, all of whom have extensive experience of working with place management practitioners.’ Prof Dominic Medway

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