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What is the future for our local high streets?

What does the future hold for our local high streets? Here we share some insights gathered from 'this place [of mine]'...

Created by and for young people, this place [of mine] has now been live for just over a month. As well as showcasing artworks and ideas, the site has also been collecting opinions on what matters most to people when it comes to the future high street. Here are some insights from what we’ve discovered so far…

First up, when asked ‘what would you do with your local high street?’ 58% of people said they wanted to completely rebuild it! In fact, when given the option only 9% wanted things to stay the same. Time for a radical rethink of our town centres.

Design matters! When asked ‘if you had the power…’ almost 50% of responders said they were most interested in getting to decide the look and feel of their high street. How can we find creative ways to get more young people and local communities properly involved with the design of their places?

Despite only a third of people feeling like their high street is a place for young people, almost 50% of visitors to this place [of mine] said their high street makes them feel happy and playful. That’s a good start – but how could we bring even more playfulness to our town centres?

The future high street is green! Over 50% of people chose ‘nature and trees’ as what they most wanted to see on the future high street. The importance of nature and green spaces in our town centres came up a lot during our Young Producer workshops as well, along with lots of ideas on how can we make our high streets greener. Let’s get planting!

Last but not least, 56% of visitors to this place [of mine] visitors said that ‘making art’ is what they most want to do on the future high street. We think this shows loads of potential to harness art and creativity to connect local communities to their places, and creative a more vibrant future for our town centres.

How do you feel about your town centre? Especially given the last 12+ months, where our public places have often felt remote or unsafe. What would you like to see for the future? Let us know on Twitter, or head to this place [of mine], hunt for the future fragments and add your thoughts!

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