chapter  7
30 Pages

Commercial competitiveness

At the heart of economic change, urban cores have experienced dramatic modifi-

cation over the past few decades, the result of external processes of globalisation

and increased competition, and internal pressures associated with the decentrali-

sation of economic activity. They have had to adopt new approaches to facilitate

investment and growth, reduce their dependence on retailing, and facilitate the

expansion of other market sectors. More particularly, they have promoted the

expansion of leisure and cultural facilities, the provision of more diverse office

capacity, and the stimulation of residential development. Increasingly centres for

consumption, they have realised that if they wish to continue appealing to inves-

tors and consumers they must improve accessibility and provide an attractive and

a secure commercial setting. In the process they have had to balance the tradi-

tionally short-term objectives of business with the longer-term assessment of the

broader social and economic needs for built space.