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Footfall Signatures and Volumes: Towards a Classification of UK Centres

Mumford, Christine and Parker, Catherine and Ntounis, Nikolaos and Dargan, Ed (2020) Footfall Signatures and Volumes: Towards a Classification of UK Centres. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science. ISSN 2399-8083 (In Press)

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Abstract

The changing nature of retail coupled with rapid technological and social developments, are posing great challenges to the attractiveness of traditional retail areas in the UK. In this paper we argue that the definitions and classifications of town centres currently adopted by UK planners and policy makers are outdated, because of their focus on retail occupancy. Instead, we propose a more dynamic definition and classification of centres, based on their activity volumes and patterns, which we obtain from footfall data. Our expectation is that adopting this activity-based approach to defining and classifying centres will radically alter the way in which they are developed and managed.

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