Cleanliness - 237 'Vital and Viable' Factors

As part of our series on vital and viable high streets, the High Streets Task Force is presenting 'evidence on a page' summaries of over 200 factors that influence the success of high streets. Here we address cleanliness: cleanliness refers to the 'Look' of centre and the tidiness of it. This includes the basic janitorial functions of the town centre such as street cleaning and rubbish collection.

Date added 10 November 2021
Last updated 10 November 2021

Maintaining the ‘Look’ and tidiness of the centre has great influence on the character and identity of the centre. This in turn affects visitors’ perceptions and could be determining whether people venture to the centre or not. Therefore, cleanliness has implications for both how attractive a centre is and how it appears. 

Councils can ensure that the town/city centre retains its cleanliness by maintaining janitorial functions of the town centre i.e. street cleaning and rubbish collection. Some architectural control is possible as well by avoiding badly fitting buildings: grotty concrete steps, cheap, twisting aluminium trim, rough concrete precast panels, oozing mastic joints, thin broken infill panels (Bennison and Davies, 1980). 

Cleanliness is one of 237 factors that have been identified as influencing the vitality and viability of the high street.

For more information and further reading, download the pdf 'evidence on a page'. The page contains information about this factors place within the 237 factors identified and: whether it is a component factor of one of 25 'vital and viable' priorities; how the factor scores in terms of influence, place management control, and priority.

To read more about vital and viable high streets, see