Like all good ideas, this concept of the microtown began with beer.
It is believed the first example was created by a brewery that purchased a warehouse on a disused industrial estate. With room to spare for more tenants, the estate soon attracted a new shop, bar, florist, barber, fashion boutique and even a hot dog stand. Before they knew it, the brewers had created an epicentre for local independent retailers.
Unlike the traditional high street, microtowns are not located in the city centre – instead they serve to create an entirely new centre elsewhere. Described as trendy – even hipster, if you will – they aim to provide a style of shopping that suits a new generation of shoppers and retailers, offering a more boutique spin on the suburban shopping complex while fostering small businesses.
The key to this concept is envisioning retail hubs as the bedrock of the community, and microtowns espouse an innovative design that fulfils this. So, who knows, if they catch on, microtowns could be the future of local shopping.
You can learn more about the idea of microtowns here.