Hope Street Quarter Developments And Public Realm Works

At last the public realm works in Hope Street, Liverpool, are underway. This will make a huge difference to the Hope Street Quarter; but where do we go from here?
The Hope Street Quarter is at a critical stage in its development. With luck we shall soon see delivery of the Public Realm works which HOPES and, latterly, Liverpool Vision have sought for so long; and alongside that we can already perceive the evidence that the Quarter is at last becoming the vibrant destination it should always have been.
All this is excellent news, both for those directly involved, and for those whose future livelihoods may depend on such vibrancy and public visibility for the Quarter; but another aspect of these developments is the risks which, unless we are vigilant, they may bring.
The evidence that physical improvements, and even economic growth, may not be an unmixed blessing for everyone is now well-documented: we have only to look at areas such as London’s Hoxton, Newcastle, or indeed some parts of Glasgow and Edinburgh for instance, to see that ‘gentrification’ brings with it a challenge in terms of community and social sustainability. These issues were well recognised, as we know, at the recent ODPM conference, and must be core to how we see the future in taking HSQ forward.
It is a mistake (I would suggest) to suppose that inner-city areas do or should not change over time, or that somehow we should try to keep things as they are. We have, however, the advantage of hindsight in respect of other places, as we attempt to move forward in the Hope Street Quarter – like other parts of the inner city, a location with many people doing many things in many ways , but also a truly unique and very special place of itself.
This is not the time for a full analysis of all aspects of Hope Street Quarter’s past and future. But it may be helpful to list a few of the opportunities and issues which we face:
There are several ways in which an area such as HSQ needs to be sustained:
· it must be managed in a way which is environmentally sound;
· it needs to have a micro-economy which resonates with the larger context, but which also enables significantly accelerated growth in terms of the particular advantages of the Quarter – its creative and high-skills base, its historic attractions, and its hugely significant arts and cultural attributes, for instance; and
· it needs to have resonance with the majority, if not all, the people who live and work in HSQ and closeby.
Hilary Burrage
Hon. Chair, HOPES: The Hope Street Association
Meeting with Liverpool Vision and other partners, 24 June 2005

Posted on October 12, 2005, in Arts, Culture And Heritage, Equality, Diversity And Inclusion, HOPES: The Hope Street Association, Knowledge Ecology And Economy, Liverpool And Merseyside, Politics, Policies And Process, Regeneration, Renewal And Resilience. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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