A key element of the network is sharing new research and knowledge on the future of the city centre.
In this section you can read about the recent output from FCCN -
research papers (scroll down)
thought pieces (click here); and
discussion papers (coming soon).
The Future of the city centre: global perspectives
Giddings and Rogerson (eds) (2023)
This book looks beyond the post-industrial, post-commercial, and post-retail city centres to examine differing visions of the future form and function of the urban core. Exploring key themes of change, it will assist the development of future city models and help to contextualise urban change.
Click here for details and to order a copy.
The future of the city centre: urbanisation, transformation and resilience
Rogerson and Giddings 2021
Recent debates over the content and theoretical orientation of urban studies act as a strong reminder that the nature and existence of the city as a form of spatial urban agglomeration is changing. They have acted positively as a heuristic to inspire critical analysis of urbanisation and helped to illuminate the considerable empirical variation over time and space in urban agglomeration forms. However, in shifting the focus onto the planetary reach of urbanisation, such debates risk deflecting attention away from the city core at a time when it too is being subjected to transformation. The city centre has been taken for granted ....
Read the paper here
Compacting the city centre: densification in two Newcastles
Giddings and Rogerson 2021
The compact city and the associated process of densification have attained almost hegemonic status as a sustainable urban form. Seeking to counteract the negative impacts of sprawl, urban densification has usually focused on areas beyond the city centre. However, a renewed attraction of the urban core is altering patterns at a time when other trends, including the decline of retailing and commercial activity, are also changing demands for space in the city centre. This paper investigates different approaches to the use of urban densification as part of strategies for the regeneration of the city centre.
Read the full paper here
Urban design and the future of the city centre: international perspectives.
Rogerson and Giddings (forthcoming)
in A. Negrão, C. Canova, D. Castor and J. Ribeiro da Silveira (eds). Lugares e suas interfaces intraurbanas: qualificação de sistemas urbanos e edificados (Places and their intra- urban interfaces: qualification of urban and built systems). Joao Pessoa: UNIPE.
This chapter explores how a more liberated, critical and sustainable form of urban design is needed to help ensure that city centres around the world continue to retain their unique position in urban systems. Four city centres, from four continents, make the argument that contemporary urban design of central spaces should be more adaptive to local contexts, engaging with local communities and citizens to meet their needs, and be more sensitive in the ways in which global planning and development are applied in each place.
The future of city centres: perspectives from the Global South
This brief paper extends the discussion of the future of the centre of cities globally, exploring some insights from two cities in the Global South, Tshwane-Pretoria and Joao Pessoa, to complement the arguments made in Rogerson and Giddings’s recent paper on the Two Newcastle’s. It suggests that there are key insights relevant to all cities to be learnt from the responses of cities outside of the Global North to pressures on the urban core. Alternative responses that imagine beyond the need to retain and regenerate the historic core merit consideration.
Read the paper here
Constructing the future of the city centre: realizing visions
Rogerson, Giddings and Jefferies (forthcoming)
As cities are being asked to transition to a new future shaped by significant social, economic and environmental challenges, renewed attention is being given to the urban development process, and on how this process has to be more inclusive, and the outcomes more coherent. With past notions of masterplans as a single, fixed visionary document being replaced with guiding strategies, open to interpretation, there is a greater need for different disciplines to engage together throughout the development process. This paper explores opportunities and needs for construction management to be more actively involved in the reshaping of the city centre, from the envisioning of its future to the realization of change. Through the lens of the process of change in four city centres across the world, this paper outlines how discussing construction management could beneficially engage with other urban disciplines to create a shared vision for centres as part of local governance. It argues for construction management adopt a wider spatial and temporal perspective that looks beyond specific buildings, site and projects to situate development in the urban and regional systems and to help be part of the envisioning process. Along with more critical engagement in the policy, design and construction processes for construction management, the paper points to a need for more local sensitivity and adaptation including an appreciation of the contribution of public spaces and a different approach to urban development if the city centre is to be more sustainable in future. (forthcoming)