What is the greatest invention of mankind? While some could argue, from the internet to the plane, an even more convincing argument can be made for the city. The human urban city fosters what many urban planners work tediously to build today, known as the "live work play community." The city accommodates health facilities, housing quarters, markets of trade and commerce, as well as forums for entertainment. As human concepts and ideals evolve, so does the city and what it means economically for its citizens’ and leaders’ future. Today cities are crafting strategies to boost their economy in extremely rocky times. However, could the economic boost many cities are searching for be nestled right in their downtown core?
In Nottingham, England, economic boosts like that of Atlanta’s Final Four weekend are far and few. However, the city does have inside opportunities to increase its economy - it just has to know where to look. For example, the city holds a healthy Asian population. Unfortunately though, the city of Nottinghamshire currently lacks a Chinatown such as those seen in many major cities with a strong Asian representation. By developing this centre, the city would not only be catering to its Asian community, but also to a very affluent and profitable tourist group, the Chinese.
By The Numbers
In 2008, Chinese tourists passed all other nationalities as the biggest shoppers in France;
Chinese tourists account for thirty percent of the luxury goods market in the United Kingdom, with British making up only fifteen percent of the market;
2.5 million Chinese tourists visited Europe in 2010, up from two million in 2009;
Average Chinese tourists stay twenty-three days in the country and spends $7,200 US, significantly higher than the overall average of $4,000 spent by most tourists.
If Nottingham decides to capitalise on its lucrative Asian population, it could begin by engaging with its Chinese business owners, preferably its restaurateurs, and developing a revitalisation strategy. The Chinatown should be multi-servicing, catering to local residents and tourists alike. By involving both the young and old Chinese population in the planning process, urban planners can grasp better insights on how to maximize the efficiency of such a project.
Although Nottingham lacks Chinese architecture, the task presents the opportunity for a grand development for all of the world to notice. How important is it to cater to your major minority communities?
Credits: Images by Michael Jenkins. Data linked to sources.