The role of integrated and diverse retailing in the production of social vitality : reshaping retailing in Kuwait city
Al-Shaheen, Qutaiba E.
MetadataShow full item record
The main objective of this research is to examine the role of social vitality in successful retailing centres and develop a comprehensive view of their built environment characteristics. The research then compares these findings with the characteristics of the problematic retailing in Kuwait City which has been undergoing a process of fragmentation and decay caused by the establishment of large scale out-of-town retail developments, urban sprawl and the move toward a single-land-use and car dominated city. The research has utilized various theoretical and empirical methodologies. The research has been informed by several theories and ideas drawn from different fields and disciplines such as urbanism, economics, planning and sociology. The empirical analysis draws on three case studies of successful city centres – Glasgow, York and Aleppo. It examines the role of retailing and the production of social vitality through the use of different methodologies such as space syntax analysis, stationary activity observation, active frontage analysis, visual environment evaluation and economic vitality analysis. It then relates this evidence to the failing centre of Kuwait City. This research has shown that a dense urban grid as well as an integrated network encourages movement. An urban environment that is easily read and understandable promotes walking and being in public. The research demonstrates that urban policies can and do create integrated and diverse retailing that provide the necessary conditions for social vitality. Based on the findings of this research, the success of retailing requires a central location, proximity of population, a strong tourism market, a high-quality urban environment and the existence of diverse retailing types.