As marketing and city branding exert a greater influence on city and town planning/ governance, the concept and term of a Unique Selling Point (USP) has become more prevalent. Its understandable why its appealing. One moment of inspiration and you have one initiative, project or building that sells your town for you. Its the same way of thinking that says we need a sleek new modernist art gallery/library/ conference etc to ‘compete’.
However the challenges that town & city centres face are very complex, and require a comprehensive response. So many towns have been so badly run that the USP really should be considered to be the second half of the manual. So how about ‘Back to Basics’? Good maintenance of streets and premises, retail that serves customers needs, cleanliness, trees, public space, pedestrian and bicycle safety; …. a good place to be… now that’s marketable.