The role of city centres in UK city economies is generally badly understood. Beyond their generally accepted role as retail centres, city centres play a much more fundamental role in bringing people together to exchange ideas and information, as well as goods and services. In particular, city centres provide the agglomeration benefits attractive to the types businesses and firms that increasingly drive national economic growth. And this is likely to become increasingly important as the UK economy continues to specialise in activities based on ideas and information.
Building on previous work by Centre for Cities on the importance of city centre economies, this paper pulls together examples of policies used in cities from around the world to improve their city centres. The first section it sets out the importance of city centre economies to the economic performance of cities as a whole, The second section then presents case studies for five broad types of policy intervention.
Supported by the Key Cities Group