Saving the high street: 10 quickfire solutions for the UK and beyond

6. Green our urban centres

“We need to rethink our towns and high streets so they are healthier, greener places – and primarily about people,” writes Bill Grimsey, the former chief executive of Iceland and Wickes, and author of a major recent high streets review.

He points to global efforts, from Athens (pictured) to Seattle, to liberate public space from cars and redesign them in favour of cyclists and pedestrians.

Closer to home, greening efforts have been shown to pay off: the creation of Sheffield Peace Gardens has reportedly upped shopping visits by 35 per cent, increasing spending by £4.2m.

In Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent, a £10m investment to make the area more pedestrian-friendly led to 30 per cent more footfall. Tree-lined streets, living walls and vertical gardens could all have a place.

Image: Despina Galani

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