Tomorrow’s City Centres

A project in partnership with Blake Morgan

What are we doing?

Our city and town centres are regularly in the news, but often, the story is one of decline. Newspapers report that footfall in our high streets has reduced every year for the past ten, and as a result, sales fall, shops are closing and jobs are being lost. The blame often falls on the huge rise in online shopping, increasing business rates, and an uncertain future due to Brexit.

But our city centres aren’t just places to go shopping. Cities have many roles, from centres for government to places where people meet and socialise. Nearly half of city centre premises are houses or flats, and one in ten are offices. And people don’t just go there to shop: they may also visit the cinema, a restaurant, or to see their doctor or solicitor.

SPC, with the support of Blake Morgan, are exploring how five major retail and commercial centres in the central South of England – Bournemouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester – are evolving to meet the demands of the future.

We’re talking to local residents to understand what they like about their cities, what they dislike, and what they think should change. We’re asking people what they want from tomorrow’s city centre: as a dynamic place to shop, work, live and play, and our report will be published in the early summer of 2020. If you have views on the future of our city centres and want to take part, then there are two ways you can contribute:

Take our survey

We’re asking people to give us their views on the city centre today and what it might become tomorrow. If you’d like to take part in our survey you can find here.

It should only take ten minutes or so to complete and does not require you to give us any personal details. All responses are anonymous, all we ask for is the first part of your postcode, so we can see how close participants are to the city centres we’re studying. No data will be shared with any third party.

Send us a picture

We’re also collecting people’s pictures of what they think is best and worst about their city centre to find common themes If you’d like to send us a picture you can e-mail it to citycentre@southernpolicycentre.co.uk putting the location of your picture into the subject line.

Thank you for taking part.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole city centres
Portsmouth city centre
Southampton city centre
Winchester city centre