Concern for the future of town centres and their retail cores, the ‘high street’, is not new. Responses to this have often been somewhat one dimensional, focusing on their role as places of consumption, employment, leisure and heritage. We consider the potential multiple roles of older people in helping revive and rejuvenate town centres given the centrality of place for healthy supportive living, community and social participation and ‘ageing in place’. Taking an environmental gerontology perspective, we ask whether the WHO age friendly cities/communities’ framework should be considered further in approaches to reviving town centres in a post-Covid-19 world.


© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

Cite as

Phillips, J., Walford, N., Hockey, A. & Sparks, L. 2021, 'Older People, Town Centres and the Revival of the 'High Street'', Planning Theory and Practice, 22(1), pp. 11-26. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649357.2021.1875030

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Last updated: 30 May 2023
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