Reporter 444, 6 December 1999

University staff given first chance to shape city's future

A University geography lecturer is spearheading the city councilís drive to regenerate inner-city Leeds and encourage people to live there.

Seraphim Alvanides is co-ordinating a city-wide survey of the attitudes of 30,000 people to urban living - and University staff are being given the first chance to respond.

Under a recent Government drive to reverse the flow of people away from the heart of cities and regenerate urban areas, Leeds has been given the target of boosting its city centre population five-fold within five years. 1,000 people currently live there.

This will involve the creation of a range of new housing developments from luxury flats to more affordable accommodation.

"We have all seen the city councilís success in the commercial, cultural and retail revival of the city centre," said Mr Alvanides. "It has transformed Leeds into a modern and desirable city.

"Now we want to find out if people who work in the city centre, people like University and city council staff, are prepared to live there."

Mr Alvanides said the city council is targeting people earning between £12,000 and £25,000 each year to canvass their opinions on inner-city living. "It is trying to get away from the image of city-centre living being all about yuppie flats and expensive penthouses," he added.

As well as price, important issues for consideration include the type of housing available, peopleís age and who people want to live with said Mr Alvanides.

Questionnaires will also be sent to city council employees and large organisations such as banks and shops.

When they are returned, Mr Alvanides will analyse the responses and report back to the city council with peopleís reactions.

The first of the 30,000 surveys to be issued to Leeds workers are included in this issue of the Reporter. For more information contact Seraphim Alvanides, email s.alvanides@

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