Memorable cities take on a new life after dark. They feel different and change purpose – adapting to night-time citizenship with all the opportunities and complexities this entails. Successful 24-hour cities embrace this transition with the needs of night workers, party goers, traders and sleepy residents in mind. Those that don’t adapt risk losing out. It’s interesting to see how urban success stories are also changing the way we perceive the night-time economy. Headlines about UK cities being ruined by annihilated revelers have been replaced with warnings that we risk losing out to European counterparts with a thriving nightlife.
The delicate balance between opportunity and compromise in a 24-hour city is explored in The Building Centre’s exhibition for the London Festival of Architecture. Night Time Is The Right Time is a major competition, exhibition and event programme created by The Built Environment Trust and supported by the Mayor of London to show the ideas that can help cities work better at night. Amy Lamé, Night Czar for London joined the launch party to help toast myKanaal, Farrells winning idea to transform London’s waterways into floating night markets.
I remember when the term ‘continental’ was regularly used to describe a street with the odd café table outside. Perhaps that was just 90’s Leicester but it’s clear things have moved on. Night Time Is The Right Time shows there’s still a lot to learn from global cities with exciting night-time strategies and improving economies to match.
Design, planning and policy is at the heart of a people-centric city. If the night-time economy is to thrive it’s up to the built environment to adapt, and capitalise on the need for change.
Selling The Night, a major conference on 13 July will explore the night time economy and its implications for the built environment. Click here for more information.