Skip to content

Economics is the science of estimating Worth and Economic analysis focuses on Value (Oswell ,2013 ). The fundamental process of understanding economics and its application guides us through the process of design with a robust dataset that we can rely upon for an efficient design.

Economic analysis for an effective Urban design can be done in various domains like demographics, income and wealth, culture and heritage, site and location, resources and market potential. Each of these defines and characterizes an area and highlight different potentials and threats of a space. These domains are used as a toolkit for the analysis of various aspects of a design and their application in Urban design and regeneration. They attempt to provide a clear set of intellectual tools that help us to maximize the socio-economic sustainability of both new build and regeneration development schemes.

The promotion of urban culture is defined as the one strand of local economic policy that is used to alleviate the negative effects of the transformation from the Industrial to post-industrial economy (Bianchini and Parkinson, 1993). Culture is a means of defining a rich, shared identity and thus engenders pride of place and inter-communal understanding, contributing to people’s sense of anchoring and confidence (Landry & Wood, 2003). It can thus be seen as a driver for urban economic growth. The initiation of culture-driven urban regeneration has come to occupy a pivotal position in the new urban entrepreneurialism. (S. Miles & Paddison, 2005)

Culture and heritage form an integral part of the economic analysis of a place. Historic relations, vernacular architectural styles, needs of the people and their specific religion gradually build and shape up an urban area. The understanding of the existing heritage and culture of an area is a crucial part of a successful urban design and more for an Urban regeneration project.

Case study – The Nottingham Lace Market (Evans and Shaw,2004)


Pilcher gate, Lace Market, Nottingham, 1964
1. Pilcher gate, Lace market Nottingham – 1964

The “Lace Market” of Nottingham is designated as the cultural quarter with an emphasis on the promotion and regeneration of the fashion industry as a means to develop a mixed-use sustainable Creative Sector. The Market is a district on the southern fringe of Nottingham city centre. It was historically the centre of production for the global lace industry in the late-19th and early-mid-20th centuries.It was identified as a ‘creative quarter’ and led to the subsequent declaration of the district as an Industrial Improvement Area. The Lace Market was steadily renovated with the creation of the Lace Market Development Company (LMDC), a public/private partnership led by Nottingham City Council to renovate the area as a specialist cultural, heritage and professional service district.

2. Lace Market, Nottingham

The Lace Market is now a flourishing district with over 450 firms, a quarter of which remain related to fashion design and production, with the other three quarters representing a mix of cultural production (arts and media, architecture, visual communications) and consumption. Regeneration of the Lace Market was found to have been driven by three intersecting culturally constructed economies: embeddedness and the cultural organization of production; culture and consumption and the cultural organization of the night-time economy.

In a study of the Lace market (Crewe and Beaverstock, 1998) based on interviews with over 70 firms and 100 employees, it concluded that cultural production and consumption play a key role in the revitalization and regeneration of contemporary cities and how localized cultures have been instrumental in the regeneration of this historic quarter (Evans & Shaw,2004).

Culture and heritage are always unique to a specific location and therefore its understanding in a particular place makes the regeneration of an area more efficient by recreating its essencein the form of design.


Aidan Oswell, Urban Design Economic Assessment Tool Kit, 2013.

Bianchini, Franco and Michael Parkinson. Cultural Policy And Urban Regeneration. 1st ed. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993.

Charles Landry and Phil Wood,. Harnessing And Exploiting The Power Of Culture For Competitive Advantage. comedia, 2003.

Steven Miles and R. Paddison, Introduction: The rise and rise of culture-led urban regeneration. Urban Studies, 2005.

Graeme Evans and Phyllida Shaw, The Contribution of Culture to Regeneration in The UK – A Report to the DCMS, LondonMet, 2004

Crewe, L. and Beaverstock, J. (1998) ‘Fashioning the City: Cultures of consumption in contemporary urban spaces’

Image references :

  1. Pilcher gate, Lace market, Nottingham – 1964 taken
  2. Lace market, taken from

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509


Hit Counter provided by recruiting services