Reviving High Streets With Housing

With nearly 20,000 retail outlets shutting down so far this year in England, the future of towns' high streets looks shaky. But some say reviving these main streets is as simple as converting empty shops into housing units.
August 20, 2009, 10am PDT | Nate Berg
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About 12% of space on high streets now empty, according to a recent report from Brewin Dolphin Investment Banking. This underutilized space should become housing in order to keep high streets alive, writes Jackie Sadek, head of regeneration at CB Richard Ellis and chair of the British Urban Regeneration Association.

"There is still a huge amount of sentimentality around this debate, which is preventing us from finding a solution. Instead of harking back to the days when mum shopped daily, with her wicker basket, at the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker in a Hovis-advertisement-style high street, we need to face the hard fact that half the UK population do their food shopping in just two stores – Tesco and Asda – once a week. And get over it! We need to learn to work with the grain of the market if we are to find a way forward for our high streets."

Thanks to ArchNewsNow

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Published on Friday, August 14, 2009 in Building
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