We’re once again under national lockdown restrictions and mostly living, working and playing within our local areas. This behaviour could be a short-term reaction to the new measures except there is now growing evidence of longer-term trends and an emerging form of localism. An alumni-led discussion, chaired by FoL board member Lucy Webb, explored how city makers should respond.
The future of high streets and town centres is not a new topic, but one that has certainly been brought into much sharper focus in recent months because of Covid-19. Adding to longstanding questions over the future of bricks and mortar retail and how this impacts high street footfall, uncertainty resulting from lockdown, social distancing, changes to working patterns and planning system reform are now thrown into the mix.
Providing community services, space and connections is getting tougher. Historically the domain of churches and temples and technically a council responsibility, this key element of local support relies on vulnerable funding – and lots of good will. Local trusts have been delivering that support for decades, and it may be time for them to play a bigger role.