How to Save Our Town Centres

A Radical Agenda for the Future of High Streets

Julian Dobson

How to Save Our Town Centres

Julian Dobson

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

276 pages | 12 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2015
Paper $42.95 ISBN: 9781447323938 Published August 2015 For sale in North and South America only
Has the Internet killed our main streets? Have our town and city centers become obsolete? This book looks beyond the empty commercial buildings and “shop local” campaigns to focus on the real issues: how the relationship between people and places is changing; how business is done and who benefits; and how the use and ownership of land affects us all. Written in an engaging and accessible style and incorporating numerous original interviews, How to Save Our Town Centres sets out a comprehensive and coherent agenda for long-term, citizen-led change. It will be vital reading for policy makers and researchers alike, and anyone interested in planning, architecture and the built environment, economic development, and community participation.
Contents
Part One: Today It took a riot
Thanks for the memories
To market, to market
Lost in the supermarket
Declaring independence

Part Two: Tomorrow Raise a glass to the new economy
The unexpected buzz in the library
The space in between
A place to live
Reclaiming the land
If we had a little money
From ‘me’ towns to ‘we’ towns.
Review Quotes
Leigh Sparks, University of Stirling, UK
“A significant and important book that is entertainingly and engagingly written. Dobson critiques, dissects, and then rebuilds the state of our high streets and town centres, arguing coherently for new, locally based, ground-up reconstruction of place and community, and challenges us all to get involved.”
David Boyle, fellow of the New Economics Foundation
“The debate about high streets has become completely stuck. By setting it in a wider context about the places we might want to live in the future, Dobson has relaunched it in a really exciting way.”
Rob Hopkins, cofounder of Transition Network
“It’s brilliant. I recommend it hugely. Buy copies for everyone on your local council.”
Anna Minton, writer, journalist and visiting professor at the University of East London
“This is a fascinating and important book—a primer for the reinvigoration of local economies and high streets. At last a refreshing alternative to the official narrative of the decline of the high street.”
People, Place and Policy
"The book is an impassioned plea for a new approach to high streets, based on a lifetime of research, consultancy and observations of what makes high streets tick."
European Journal of Current Legal Issues
“From Brixton to Brazil, Dobson provides a positive plethora of examples from the retail world to help illustrate what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to saving town centers.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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