This 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.
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”→
The Place Management and Leadership programme at Manchester Metropolitan University is a part-time taught course that is predominantly for existing practitioners in the place management sector. Place management encompasses a range of professions internationally, including town and city centre management, market management, Downtown and Mainstreet management, destination management and marketing, Business Improvement District management and city marketing and branding. It may also involve civic and and community organisations, or even individuals who share a passion for local places, and who wish to make their communities more sustainable and liveable.
The aim of the qualification is to develop confident, highly reflective and respected place managers, capable of strategic thinking and transformative but inclusive place management.
Join us for another IPM study trip – this time to Athens, Greece.
This 3-day accredited educational trip to Athens is a combination of site visits, lectures & workshops as well as meetings with local place managers (local partnerships, markets, town centre revewal, local initiatives, local tourism etc.). Athens is a particularly interesting case study as Place Management here takes place in an extended economic crisis with the voluntary sector often taking over the role of both state and private sector.
Crime prevention is increasingly to be found at the top of the place management agenda and it is now generally accepted that good places are also safe places. Of course, crime prevention is about more things than just places: it is about people and agency, about poverty and inequality, about weakness and strength, about moral values and social norms among many things. Yet, it is also recognized that place is a fundamental category when we want to look at the conditions or the local situation that facilitates the act of crime. For place managers, crime or indeed the fear of crime, have been constant issues in dealing with the quality of places and in particular, but not only, public places. How do we make public space safer and also, how do we make people feel safer in public space? Crime Prevention through Urban Design Planning and Management (CP-UDPM) puts place in the centre of the approach and looks at the conditions that make crime possible locally and induce a fear of crime: a badly-lit alley, an abandoned subway, indifferent neighbours etc. The concept of crime has been extended to include incivilities such as litter and vandalism – seen both as a problem in themselves, but also as a sign of abandoned and unsafe public space. We do not want to enter the discussion of definitions here, but suffice to say that both crime and incivilities are contested terms, seen both as socially constructed and contingent.
by Dr Steve Millington, Nikos Ntounis, Prof Cathy Parker and Simon Quin
Executive summary [You can download the full report from the IPM site]
Whilst omni-channel retailing and the digital high street may be two of the latest talking points in the retail property industry, our towns and city centres have always been shape by a series of technological, social and political revolutions. The purpose of this report is to examine how, after many years of mono-functionality focused upon retailing, our centres are experiencing something of a renaissance, and remerging as multi-functional ones, supporting leisure and recreation, employment, tourism, heritage, culture, housing, employment, education, health and wellbeing, as well as retail. Continue reading “Multifunctional Centres: a sustainable role for town and city centres”→
The 3rd Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places heard presentations from 36 authors, with delegates representing 28 institutions from 15 countries across Europe, the USA, the Middle East and the Far East.
Our ‘Bringing Big Data to Small Users‘ project is funded by Innovate UK, the UK Goverment’s innovation agency,to improve the customer experience of town centres and traditional retail areas, such as high streets and markets. The project will do this by bringing new research and insight directly to key stakeholders in locations – such as retailers and other businesses, property owners, local councils and place managers. The project is led by retail data specialists Springboard, who are the sector leaders in collecting footfall data in retail and other locations.