New study reveals activity shift to smaller ‘15-minute cities’

New research released by Placemake.io and Visitor Insights has revealed increased activity in suburban and seaside towns with people commuting less into city centres and spending more time in their local communities.  

The study, which analysed anonymised phone data from over 500 UK high streets between 2019-2022, details how post-covid behaviours have changed, with smaller ’15-minute cities’ experiencing up to a third more footfall versus 2019.  

This contrasts with major cities where footfall is still reported to be down by up to 60% particularly on Mondays and Fridays. This data is also supported by Real estate firm CBRE Investment Management which has reported a more than doubling of empty office space in London over the past three years. 

’15-minute cities’ are defined as communities where residential areas are within a walking distance of retail areas. Over the last three years Alight has developed its out-of-home advertising portfolio with a focus on these communities.  

Alight now offers OOH opportunities across 153 towns, including several key coastal areas such as Blackpool, Brighton, Christchurch, Dover, Great Yarmouth, and Skegness. More than 40 of these are new towns that have joined our fast-growing network over the last 12 months.  

Read more in BBC’s article about the research.

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