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Will a Smart City Have a High Street?

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Sustainable Smart Cities

Part of the book series: Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management ((ITKM))

Abstract

A smart city is the outcome of a complex weave of influences, disciplines and agencies acting to improve quality of life, sustainability and efficiency. A common factor, whether smart cities are built from scratch or evolve from existing infrastructure, is that the dynamic capability of new digital technologies will play a pivotal role in their development. For example, the rise of e-commerce means that traditional retailers now face a global competitor with a limitless product assortment, low prices, and a window display in the palm of almost every hand. The question is therefore whether the local high street has an economically sustainable future in a smart city. We suggest that it does. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to describe the relative vitality of eight inner London high streets. Findings from 100,000 observations and nearly 700 survey responses revealed substantial differences in footfall densities between high streets, but behaviour followed familiar split-loyal stochastic norms. Local shopping habits are sustainable and efficient, but they account for just one part of multi-functional high street visits and are therefore hard to change completely or fast. The one crucial measure of vitality is however high street footfall and digital marketing communications alone are unlikely to influence this substantially partly because reach and adoption were found to be low. Instead opportunities exist within the smart city construct for any retailer that can attract more “little and often” shoppers, and for associations of retailers that can build distinctive rather than differentiated high streets. Results offer direction for local government planning strategies.

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Correspondence to Charles Graham .

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Graham, C., Peleg, A. (2017). Will a Smart City Have a High Street?. In: Peris-Ortiz, M., Bennett, D., Pérez-Bustamante Yábar, D. (eds) Sustainable Smart Cities. Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-40895-8_11

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