Not Quite the ‘Death of the High Street’: Rising Vacancy Rates and the Shift in Land Use Richness and Diversity in UK City Centres
38 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2022
This paper explores vitality, viability and resilience within urban retailing systems, focusing on the role played by both change of use and greater use diversity in developing adaptive capacity. The retailing centres of five case study cities, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Liverpool, and Nottingham, are examined over a twenty-year period using original databases on property use and geospatial mapping techniques to employ land use richness and diversity metrics in a novel manner. Overall, the analysis finds land use richness has generally risen as comparison retailing and financial services have contracted, to be replaced by hospitality, leisure, and residential uses. However, this re-balancing has not been even across retailing centres and is outstripped by rising vacancies. The study also reveals spatial variation in change of use and use diversity and richness as retailing centres slowly adapt, implying that future policymaking should focus on creating more resilient, mixed use city centres as an alternative to the single use retail high streets of the past.
Keywords: Retailing Systems, real estate, Property Use, Change of Use, Land Use Richness, Land use diversity
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