Pop Up People: Rethinking Our Town Centres

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Dan Thompson talks Pop Up PeopleOnline shopping. Out of town retail. The economy. Our town centres have problems.

Dan Thompson, the man behind the empty shop we used for the [Brighton Future of News journalism day](http://shorehambfongproject.tumblr.com/), and the guy who started the [#riotcleanup](http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/09/clean-up-riots) movement, is trying to do something about it. He’s been running the Empty Shops Network for years, but felt that the focus had to change, from the shops to the people who made something of them. And he wanted to get the Government’s attention. And, with some [Arts Council](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arts_council "Arts council") funding, he’s done just that.
And so, this afternoon I wandered along the coast to [Fresh Egg](http://www.freshegg.com/)‘s offices in Worthing, to hear about the Pop Up People report. 
Dan wanted to do something different, something that wouldn’t just add to the 30 reports that are sitting on the Government’s shelves, telling them how “fix” those centres of ours. Three months of workshops and discussions later, the report is a slim, but focused set of ideas called Pop Up People.
The idea is bottom up, entrepreneurial, flexible use of space, driven by people’s ideas rather than wholesale Government intervention. Sound interesting?
You can grab [the PDF of Pop Up People online](http://www.artistsandmakers.com/images/PopUpPeopleReport.pdf), and I’ll stick the video into this post. 
Want to know more? There’s a [wiki full of useful information and guidance](http://wiki.emptyshopsnetwork.co.uk/index.php/Main_Page). 
Oh, and I have some involvement in this. I’ve written [a piece of “bonus” content](http://www.artistsandmakers.com/images/ThePopUpPotentialofProperty.pdf) to support this initiative, which is available to download. Please give it a read and tell me what you think. 
citiesdan thompsonplanningpop up peopleretailurban design

Adam Tinworth Twitter

Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.