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A comfortable night out? Alcohol, drunkenness and inclusive town centres

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Abstract:

The Licensing Act (2003) was enacted in England and Wales against the backdrop of media concern about ‘binge Britain’ and violent town centres avoided by ‘social drinkers’. This paper responds to these concerns by asking how to create more inclusive urban centres at night. Findings from focus groups found it was not alcohol consumption or a reluctance to partake in urban life that was detracting residents. Using the notion of ‘comfort’, the paper instead reveals a strong desire for varied late-night experiences ranging from quiet local venues, to active streets and live venues.

Keywords: Licensing Act; alcohol; cities; consumption; evening-economy

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2008.00813.x

Affiliations: Central Cities Institute, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5LS, Email: eldrida@wmin.ac.uk

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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