Professor Cathy Parker, chair of the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, discusses what has gone wrong and why placemakers must accept that people make places if the high street is to make a comeback. Two stories have dominated the headlines over the past couple of months. Brexit, of course, and the fate of the high street. Like Brexit, stories about the high street tend to focus on, at best, an upcoming period of uncertainty and, at worst, terminal decline. Positive stories about our town centres are few and far between. High streets, quite simply, are not the bustling hearts of their communities that they once were.  What has gone wrong with the high street? There are no shortage of fingers pointing to where the blame for this lies, like the internet, which has caused a shift of 20% of retail sales from in-store to online. Others blame … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Professor Cathy Parker

Chair of the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University.