“Local authorities need to be the captains of change and engage in this agenda.”
As suggested by the Guardian’s architecture correspondent, Oliver Wainwright:
As embattled council leaders across the country face the quandary of what to do with their struggling, post-pandemic town centres, they would do well to look at Stockton, quietly leading the way.
And as covered by the ArchDaily website:
A 37-million-pound project, the proposal will demolish half the high street in Stockton’s town centre and replace it with a riverside park…
Around the world, recent years have also seen more cities and firms take a greater interest in the urban regeneration of their public spaces. In Bellinzona, Switzerland, Swiss firm TAMassociati designed a ‘future proof’ urban masterplan that conceives the gradual development of the city, with multi-use infrastructure that integrates green spaces with built architecture.
In contrast to this approach, there has also been the wider emergence of “urban acupuncture” – a design tactic that promotes highly specific and targeted initiatives to regenerate neglected spaces, such as the creation of pocket parks and community gardens in leftover urban spaces.
The i newspaper quotes a Stockton councillor:
Calling on other councils to consider taking a leaf out of Stockton’s book, Cllr Cooke said: “You cannot just do nothing and wait for the good times to come back. Covid has pushed more people onto the internet. [Online shopping] is not going to go away… Local authorities need to be the captains of change and engage in this agenda. We’ve got something here and we think people should listen up.”
Image: (Image: Stockton Council/Google maps)