Published: 27th Aug 2012

A vibrant future for our towns means we must reject the idea that they are for for shoppers, and reassert our towns as spaces of citizenship. We must refill the empty consumerism, with stronger sense of citizenship and local identity. Our towns and town centres are a unique feature of Britain, representing our history and identity. They offer a unique space where we can mingle, watch, share and feel part of a community. Many countries would die for our rich historic cores and deep identity. However, we have neglected them and the soul of our town centres and towns have been dripping away for decades. Before the recession our strong economy created a buoyant retail sector which masked their decline as spaces of citizenship. We built more and more out of town retail, believing consumer demand would never falter. We choose retail over housing as it gave us better returns. … (To read the full article, subscribe below)