Constructing the future of the city centre : realizing visions

Rogerson, Robert J and Giddings, Bob and Jeffries, Marcus (2023) Constructing the future of the city centre : realizing visions. Construction Management and Economics, 42 (2). pp. 129-145. ISSN 0144-6193 (

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As cities are being asked to transition to a new future shaped by significant social, economic and environmental challenges, renewed attention is being given to the urban development process, and on how this process has to be more inclusive, and the outcomes more coherent. With past notions of masterplans as a single, fixed visionary document being replaced with guiding strategies, open to interpretation, there is a greater need for different disciplines to engage together throughout the development process. This paper explores opportunities and needs for construction management to be more actively involved in the reshaping of the city centre, from the envisioning of its future to the realization of change. Through the lens of the process of change in four city centres across the world, this paper outlines how discussing construction management could beneficially engage with other urban disciplines to create a shared vision for centres as part of local governance. It argues for construction management adopt a wider spatial and temporal perspective that looks beyond specific buildings, site and projects to situate development in the urban and regional systems and to help be part of the envisioning process. Along with more critical engagement in the policy, design and construction processes for construction management, the paper points to a need for more local sensitivity and adaptation including an appreciation of the contribution of public spaces and a different approach to urban development if the city centre is to be more sustainable in future.