There is now a new and integrated approach to the design of retail in our towns.
Scheme examples in the pipeline such as Grosvenor Developments Liverpool One and Quintains Wembley Regeneration, show the now mainstream approach to mixed uses, the incorporation of public space and a commitment to achieving high quality architecture and public realm.
The strong desire for schemes to be unique and reflect individual places has been a strong reaction to a consolidating number of major national retailers, and while special efforts have been made to promote local traders and to attract a mix of new and international retailers to projects, the real pressure and opportunity for placemaking and differentiation lies with the design and the designers.
Retailers' requirements and pressures need to be understood and accommodated, rather than resisted, if we are to maintain viable and vital economies in our historic towns. It is the satisfaction of these design requirements, efficiently and effectively, that generates the values required to deliver the quality of design, which is demanded.
The overall acceptance, by funding institutions that mixed use is the only way forward has also enabled us to deliver true pieces of townscape and appropriate urban scale with new additions, contrary to the single use developments of the past. This now also means extending the economies of our towns into the evening and changing the social nature of towns by increasing the resident population.
In fact it is the historic towns that present the best opportunities for placemaking and differentiation through a respect and a positive approach to the retention and repair of the fabric and heritage of our towns.
Andrew Ogg Managing Director Leslie Jones