The Theme: High Streets vs The Industrial Revolution
High streets face double trouble.
Two global forces have come together to transform the way our local economies work, making our high streets unrecognisable to what they were at the turn of the Century.
The first, a global pandemic which rewired the way we work, trade, play, travel and live. This has forced us to reconsider concepts such as agglomeration and density and could alter our economic geography for years to come.
The Industrial Revolution
The second might be even more profound. An industrial revolution, with digital at its heart, sits behind the pandemic fuelling the changes in the way the people and businesses engage. It has been slowly transforming our economy and society for years, with the COVID-19 lighting the blue touch paper.
We are witness to significant changes in high street business models, the flourishing of the urban logistics industry and a rewriting of the relationship between traditional employment hubs such as regional cities, and their neighbouring commuter towns.
Understanding Change, Predicting Change, and Shaping Change
The return of Summer School brings together leaders across the urban place management industry in the UK and Ireland with the protagonists of the industrial revolution to make sense of the changes that have already happened, to predict what change might come next, and most importantly of all, to consciously shape the future innovations for the benefit of our town city centres going forward. This will take place through the lens of high quality plenaries, workshops and study tours.