In cities throughout the world, empty shop windows are patches of untidiness that pierce the pleasure of shoppers as they travel through the crowded streets. Some stores are derelict and others in process of relocation or renovation. Some are in process of being sold to new owners. While they wait expectantly for a new breath of life, they appear forlorn and depressed.
Need this continue to happen…. ?
Is there a creative alternative …. ?
Maybe a vital partnership of innovation between the local Art College, the Local Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the association of Property Agencies could assist to corporately develop a colourful option. Could quality illuminated display panels be built or hired to host thematic artwork. They could be both informative on contemporary world issues and also pleasurable for the public to view. Thus enhance the empty shop windows and bring a fresh liveliness to the streets of the community.
Using generous-spirited advertising and sponsorship by the local business community such derelict sights/sites could be transformed into artistic delights. Local and international charities could also be involved and featured in such panels of pleasure. Such a community project could well be of immense value in building ongoing rich relationships for the future ventures.
Some of these suggestions were shared with the Mayor of a Somerset town in 2009. He discussed them further with the Town Planner. Feedback was encouraging. They were working on a similar idea and hoped to implement it in the near future….
It was a wonderful surprise to see that one of the stores recently vacated in a very prominent position in the town here had been creatively decorated with large panels displaying a series of excellent photographs. A group of local businesses, the council, the Rotary and estate agencies had partnered to produce the innovative display. Five stores were thus refreshed for the competition. One or two are still in postion as the store is still not sold. It was also a competition, so each photo was numbered and forms available throughout the town. The prize offered was a £25 voucher from M&S.
A new one-stop shop has been opened in Yeovil specifically to promote volunteering. It was a vacant property and thus put to good use. I’ve checked it out from the outside and by chatting with the staff inside. It looks very much “alive” with monitors playing in the windows and along the contour of the shop at high level. Gives the appearance of being an “activity-zone”. Such use of empty shops is encouraging to see, and I believe has been replicated in other towns in the county.
While surfing the net for articles and sites about Empty Shop Windows, I was surprised how much activity there is in the UK. You might also be interested to see the variety and range of resourcefulness that is being engaged in this project area. If you Google “Empty Shop Windows” you will be able to read about some of the initiatives. The town of Reading is an excellent example.
A truly community corporate effort. Well done Yeovil Council…….