Places with Purpose: Reinvigorating City and Town Centres Post-COVID | IPT
Chair: Clive Betts MP, Chair, Select Committee on Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
Speaker: Phil Southall, Managing Director, Oxford Bus Company
Speaker: David Sheen, Public Affairs Director, UKHospitality
Virtual Event


Wednesday 26 January 2022


This is an online event

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City and town centres were badly hit by the pandemic, suffering from a lack of commuters and footfall. At the end of August 2021, smaller cities had reached 90% footfall recovery while London had only rebounded by 30%. Recovery has been uneven in part due to the local populations ability to work from home whilst 40% of employees in London can the figure is as low as 18% in Barnsley. The impact of COVID-19 has revived discussion about the livability of areas. During lockdowns many streets were pedestrianised and cycle lanes were expanded to encourage active travel. Many individuals became more aware of their local neighbourhood and with working patterns changing have reconsidered long commutes. High streets and shopping areas were already in challenging circumstances that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. How can city and town centres be reinvigorated post-COVID to reduce carbon dependency, increase community provision and engage populations?

This event will:

  • Consider how UK cities can be developed to create successful, inclusive, and sustainable living spaces for residents
  • Explore how COVID-19 has impacted how people use their local areas, including opportunities to enable more sustainable travel
  • Examine what role levelling up will play in redefining city and town centres