WIT Press


THE NIGHT-TIME ECONOMY AND SUSTAINABLE TOWN CENTRES: DILEMMAS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT



Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/SDP-V2-N2-134-152

Volume

Volume 2 (2007), Issue 2

Pages

18

Page Range

134 - 152

Author(s)

M. ROBERTS & G. GORNOSTAEVA

Abstract

The state of many British town and city centres in the evening and at night is a cause for concern. In the early 1990s, a vision was introduced for Jane Jacobs’ inspired mixed-use centres with the encouragement of a café culture The central quarters of many towns and cities enjoyed a brief period of ‘renaissance’, only to find that this was being rapidly undermined by a proliferation of bars, pubs and nightclubs fuelled by the British practice of youthful binge drinking. This article reports the findings of a postal survey and other secondary evidence that reveals the conflicts and tensions that lie at the heart of problems associated with British town centres during the hours of darkness. The dilemma for the local government lies in how to achieve a measure of urban sustainability in their central quarters that balances the benefits of increased economic activity with the negative externalities produced by an increase in alcohol-based night life. It is suggested that this dilemma of sustainability is not unique to England, but may be seen as a problem with an international dimension.

Keywords

alcohol, drinking, local government, night-time, sustainability, town centres.