Take the economy out of the night-time, say Westminster researchers
13 November 2009
The problem prompted the Prime Minister to vow at September’s Labour Party conference that he wouldn’t allow the nation’s town centres to be turned into ‘no go areas’ at night.
Now a leading University of Westminster expert on the way local authorities have responded to the liberalisation of licensing laws by embedding the concept of the ’24-hour city’ into their planning decisions to boost economic growth has urged councils to think again.
In a new book published this week, Professor Marion Roberts and her colleague Dr Adam Eldridge argue that town planners have a responsibility to re-design the night-time city to become a place for everyday life, such as shopping, family outings and communal events.
“The concepts of the ‘24-hour party cities’ and the ‘night-time economy’ have become embedded in urban planning and practice. The desire to foster economic growth was therefore set on a collision course with the need to maintain social order,” said Professor Roberts.
“We believe however that built environment professionals have a responsibility in planning and managing the night-time city – a responsibility that cannot simply be shrugged off to licensing officers, the police or even the accident and emergency unit of the local hospital.
“It is now time for the economy to be taken out of the night-time economy,” she said.
'Planning the night-time City', by Professor Marion Roberts and Dr Adam Eldridge, is published by Routledge. Marion Roberts is Professor of Urban Design within the University’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment.
About the University of Westminster:
The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.
We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.
Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.
Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.