The Insitute of Place Management believes effective management of town/city centres, downtowns and mainstreets makes a real difference to their vitality and viability and hence their sustainability. Effective management means that centres better meet the needs of their communities and can remain relevant to them. This helps combats the many threats traditional centres now face.

Our recent research on the sustainability of town centres in the UK has drawn on literature from around the world to identify factors that affect the performance of a centre. It identified 201 factors that could potentially influence the vitality and viability of a town centre. Working with leading academic and practitioner experts we have narrowed this down to twenty five factors that are the most effective for local partnerships to prioritise. As part of the Bringing Big Data to Small Users project, we are now undertaking further work to test these factors and their impact on footfall (ped count) and retail sales. 

Although forms of place management exist in many town and city centres, this is not uniformally the case. Even where initiatives do exist, they may be more or less effective depending on how they are constructed, their remits, and constraints. We do not advocate a single solution as it is important that town and city centres build on their distinctive strengths and celebrate their individuality, but we believe that there is now enough experience and evidence of what works to suggest what would be appropriate.

To this end, as an international body, the Institute of Place Management has agreed the folliowing objectives:

  1. To support the development and spread of place management in town and city centres, downtowns and mainstreets
  2. To raise the profile of place management in town and city centres, downtowns and mainstreets at a European and international organization level
  3. To create opportunities for joint working across national boundaries between national, regional and local organizations involved
  4. To professionalize place management by developing the skills, knowledge and competences of those engaged in it
  5. To create better links between academic researchers in all areas of place management and practitioners so that knowledge can be exchanged and research can have practical application.

If you are engaged in any way in place management in respect of a town or city centre, downtown or mainstreet, then we would like you to work with us on these objectives. We would welcome discussion, engagement and information on potential research programmes, forthcoming conferences and courses, good practice and research findings, publications, networking opportunities, and engagement with policy makers.

Although town and city centres have been fundamental to how society has developed over the centuries, they are now under threat in many parts of the world from new challenges and the pace of change. We exist to assist those who want to help town and city centres have a sustainable future and would welcome your support in this.