Have city centres had their time? For months we’ve worked from home, bought locally, stopped travelling unless essential and most us feel comfortable staying local.

The lockdown has showed the positive impact on CO2 emissions as a result of reduced private vehicles in cities, plus we’ve been learning to be less wasteful when it comes to buying clothes, buying food and supporting our local economy.

City centres are full of concrete, parking is a joke and I’m not volunteering for travelling on public transport with my mask on.

We have an opportunity to re-think. Just as I’ve been working with clients to re-think their businesses, as consumers have changed how they buy, what they think and what they want to align themselves with, city centres (councils, retailers etc) have the opportunity to work with great minds in design thinking, city transformers (if they even exist), planners, environmentalists and the list goes on…

Even just watching Jimmy and his bees last night on Channel 4, “Jimmy’s Big Bee Rescue”, and how he approached the council with his idea to create wild meadows in their unused spaces, and then helped bring in schools and families, it makes complete sense. The impact was evident.

Just as with everything I do, I believe a collaborative approach will be much more effective. Bringing diverse people, skills and thinking together, could really help transform city centres.

I’ve done PR and stakeholder work in regeneration and engaging communities, residential and business, plus thinking of ‘futuristic’ opportunities, and really, we need to think of the challenges and how they can be sustainably overcome.

What do you think?

I’d love to know how you think this could be taken forward, if you’ve had similar discussions recently and why this should matter to everyone else. Please do share your views by sharing the post and writing a comment. Tag me and I’ll see your comment and come back to you.