by Prof Simon Quin
Roeselare in West Flanders, Belgium, is a small city that is beginning to change rapidly. With a population of some 60,000, a catchment of around 200,000, and a reputation as a retail destination, Roeselare is typical of many locations across Europe that are having to address disruptive change in retail. In 2007, they adopted a plan that sought to achieve a balance between town centre and edge of centre retailing. A centre management team was set up in 2009 but it wasn’t until 2015 that the real challenges of retail change were addressed. Although retail vacancy remained moderate, at some 8.4% of the 400 units in the centre, there was a realisation that more radical things had to be done to maintain a sustainable retail offer. Continue reading “Town Centre Management in Roeselare West Flanders, Belgium”
Editorial by Ares Kalandides
Dedicated to the memory of Prof Clara Cardia
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 Ares Kalandides*
Sidewalk cafés are generally a delight. They liven up public space, they become meeting places and places of exchange – indeed, they seem the quintessence of urbanity. Nevertheless, the anarchic invasion of public spaces by tables and chairs can be the exact opposite: they may be taking much needed space from pedestrians, reducing pavements into narrow strips where a person on foot (let alone a wheel-chair or a pram) can hardly pass through. How do we reconcile the two, then? Lisbon may be showing the way. Continue reading “Kiosks and Public Squares in Lisbon”