Policy chief commits to engaging residents in Destination City programme

The City Corporation has now posted on Youtube a recording of the City Question Time event held with residents earlier this month.

I asked about Destination City and Bartholomew Fair – in particular what wider plans beyond the Fair there were for the programme, how to carry forward the promised proposals for better wayfinding, and resident engagement.

Policy chief Chris Hayward responded:

  • A new website about City attractions would be launched next week (more here on that)
  • Destination City is not just about a series of events, it’s about a transformation of the way we see the Square Mile – opening it up to have greater vibrancy, and a greater opportunity to attract inbound tourism and footfall post-pandemic that will spend new money in the City.
  • It is fundamental to have resident engagement in Destination City (video here) – “if you feel we’re not consulting widely enough on Destination City, or the more engagement residents could have, we want to know how precisely we do it … we want Destination City to be owned by the residents as much as by anybody else.”

Chris Hayward then passed over to Shravan Joshi, chair of the City’s Planning and Transportation Committee, who said:

“Wayfinding is absolutely one of the critical pillars of achieving Destination City and one of the things we’re trying to do with this policy is attract people into the Square Mile who may not have experienced it before and bring different demographics into the City”.

He said that there would be changes in street signage to encourage people to explore different aspects of the City. In addition Business Improvement Districts employed bowler-hatted guides who could help if people were lost, and also encourage exploration.

Discussions were also taking taking place with heritage groups, including with the Jewish community about developing a Jewish Heritage Trail.

My take: the on-the-record commitments to resident engagement and wayfinding don’t provide specifics, but may be useful in exploring with Corporation Members and officers, and Business Improvement District, just what is planned. I’ll report back.

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