The body of literature shedding the light on the problem

The body of literature shedding the light on the problem of the public perceptions as to the city centre decay and revitalisation practices is rather insufficient. Telford (2001) points out that the people’s perceptions of the urban areas are highly important as they make a strong impact on such aspects of the city centre development as employment and occupancy, economic development and investment, physical environments, design, and planning. Moreover, the residents of the area are the ones who create the character of the place and contribute to the formation of its most recognisable features (Hidalgo 2006). The prevalent activities in the territories of the city centre form the public attitudes to the area as well and result in the changes in population density (Milder 1987).

Overall, the researchers note that there are not generally accepted evaluation standards for the assessment of the people’s perceptions of the city centre; however, it could have been an extremely valuable method contributing to the revitalisation and planning practices, especially at the early stages of urban decay (Hanak et al. 2015; Omar et al. 2013; The Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) 2014; Pampalon et al. 2007).This assessment is considered by Reading Downtown Improvement District Authority (2013) as one of the key elements providing information that will guide authorities in developing actions for improvement. Therefore, this assessment would be useful to find areas where residents, shoppers and visitors would like to see changes. The city centre perception results could provide immense help for the authorities involved in the renovation and modernisation and help to raise the effectiveness of changes and their impact on the population.

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