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Food quarters boost to city regeneration


How can we retro-fit food quarters back into city centres? In many cities and market towns food quarters are leading renewal - and according to Dr Susan Parham, Head of Urbanism at the Centre for Sustainable Communities, University of Hertfordshire, this isn't just about gentrification.

Dr Parham points to Andrew Ashenden, the former CEO of the Howard de Walden Estate whose pioneering work helped to revitalised Marylebone High Street in London, 'He brought life back into the area by introducing and encouraging small shops and restaurants - this was very important for creating a village feel to the area which had been wealthy but moribund', she says.

At the other extreme of the economic scale, Deptford High Street, she explains, has maintained its vibrancy with many individual retailers and market stalls. 'This is a long way from 'Clone- time Britain', she states, ' as cities need walkable places and food quarters do much to achieve this'.

Dr Parham's department works with local partners including Gascoyne Cecil - property manager to the Marquess of Salisbury's Hatfield Estate - and carries out research on food economy in a new town settings.

Dr Parham will be discussing the topic of food quarters at our next Future Cities Forum in June.

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