Destination City workshop can explore benefits for Square Mile residents

There’s a chance for residents as well as businesses to find out more tomorrow about the City of London’s top priority programme, Destination City, and to offer some ideas on how it may make the Square Mile a better place to live as well as work and visit. Earlier posts here.

The £2.5 million annual programme aims to attract more visitors to the City and bolster an economy hit by working from home. Last week the City launched a new website with a comprehensive range of attractions.

The City’s policy chief Chris Hayward has an article in today’s City A.M.

We used to overlook tourism in the City, now it must become the key to its recovery.

Tomorrow – June 27 – there’s a workshop at 5pm about Destination City and Culture as part of the overall City Plan 2040 consultation programme. It’s both online and in person.

Hopefully we’ll hear more about ways on which residents as well as visitors can benefit from the £1.3 million Bartholomew Fair Spectacular programme planned for September.

One suggestion I made in an earlier post is to explore the commitment in the plans to “Improve wayfinding by increasing awareness that the City is not individual buildings, but a collective of fascinating places to see, spend in and work at”.

That supports the aim to “drive footfall across The City, focusing on clusters of emotive and impactful activity that encourage attendance, discovery, dwell time and spend”.

There’s a map in the presentation which shows some key areas of interest, with markers which may relate to heritage sites and other attractions. Unfortunately there isn’t any explanation.

I think there’s enormous scope for developing a Museum of the Streets – as I’ve written here – bringing together existing tours, maps, self-guided walks and enhancing those through apps available on smartphones and computers.

That was one of the ideas City Councillor Matthew Bell and I put forward last year in the EC1 Echo, when we first proposed re-staging the Fair.

“Wayfinding” rather suggests better signposting – which is needed. However, far more could be achieved if maps and media were developed collaboratively with City guides and residents. That would help develop a shared understanding of the City of value to residents, workers and visitors.

So far information about Destination City and Bartholomew Fair has been limited, as the development team focussed on engaging brand partners and businesses. It has left members of the Culture, Heritage and Libraries committee asking just what is Destination City?

A recent City questions event included a report back note from an earlier event.

That said “The Corporation’s intention with Destination City is to make the City a better place to live, as well as visit. Currently, too much of our City is closed on the weekend, by shopping locally, exploring the City’s cultural gems and engaging with Destination City events such as the upcoming Bartholomew’s Fair in September, you can help ensure that our City remains open to you 7 days a week”.
Tomorrow’s workshop should provide the City Corporation with an opportunity to expand further on how Destination could make the Square Mile a better place to live. As I wrote earlier, Can Destination City also help create a Liveable City?

I’ll check in with the Destination City team to see whether there is more information about tomorrow’s workshop, and if so will update.

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