There are many similarities between the LHSV and City Road, but in light of what I have observed from the Making Social Lives DVD, the differences are greater.
Similarities are in the basic infrastructure required for a street in any town that supports a local community. For example, there are four places to buy coffee, each having a specific market. The Community Centre has been selling coffee since the LHSV opened in 1983. Costa Coffee has only had a presence for around one year, it is perceived as too expensive and trendy by those who frequent the Community Centre. This has similarities with City Road, where the clientele at some coffee outlets do not feel welcome at others. LHSV and City Road both see activities change throughout the day. In the early morning, the single newsagent is busy as people buy their daily papers. Later, people gather to socialise, chat or even have business meetings - depending upon which outlet they frequent. Early afternoon sees the Secondary School empty out but the teenagers hang around aimlessly before they go home for their dinner. They reappear later and spend their evenings sitting on the seats under the clock-tower, smoking or riding their bikes despite the street signs indicat...
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... part of town, catering in the main for its local population, there are very few black and ethnic minority residents and therefore no shops for that market. Black and ethnic minority people could loose out if they were looking in the LHSV for cultural items.
The LHSV is not on the way to anywhere, it is a destination, people choose to go there for a specific purpose. City Road has much more of a transient feel due to the large volume of passing traffic. Many people pass through City Road because they are en route to another destination and have no reason to stop. City Road is probably as multicultural as it gets, it is busy, noisy, the inconsiderate parking causes problems for pedestrians and the disabled. The LHSV has a large free car park and outdoor seating, encouraging people to stay. I feel the LHSV is on the way up, City Road is at best standing still.
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