This blog provides information related to a study funded by the Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University which seeks to explore the role of cafés in urban spaces – Spaces of Community: Exploring the Dynamics of the UK Cafe Industry.
This research developed as a result of many hours sitting and working in cafés, in many different countries as I continued with my research activities. Having spent so much time in cafes I often thought that they would be an interesting phenomenon to research in terms of how people use them, how the businesses develop and the different café cultures that are present around the world. Over the years I had begun to collect pieces of information and documents about cafés and finally decided to put a project together which was funded by Coventry University.
The aim of the study is to explore the development of the café industry, and understand the role of different types of cafés in a range of urban spaces. Specifically the study seeks to examine not only the economic impact of cafés on surrounding areas, but the importance of cafés for different communities and cultures.
It addresses the following questions:
- How and why cafés have developed?
- What role cafés play in communities?
- How are café spaces used?
- In what ways do cafés engage with the community?
- To what extent can cafés act as community hubs in urban spaces?
You can find out more about this research on the blog Cafe Spaces. For a quick summary of research progress in 2016 see this blog post. In addition the research questions above I have been exploring a wide range of issues related to the café industry including: sustainability in the cafe industry; cafes as social enterprises; innovations in the cafe industry; and the use of wi-fi in cafes.
There are a number of publications related to this project in progress, but ones you can read so far include:
- Ferreira, J. (2016) Café nation: Exploring the Growth of the UK cafe industry. Area. 10.1111/area.12285
- Ferreira, J. (2016) ‘The third wave and the transformation of urban centres’ in Pilgrim, D (ed). Coffee Shop North.
- Ferreira, J. (2016) Minutes on the lips, a lifetime on the tip: the coffee cup waste mountain. The Conversation 29/07/2016.
- Ferreira, J. (2015) How the third wave of coffee shops is tranforming high streets. The Conversation. 27/07/2015.
- Ferreira, J. (2017) Spaces of Community: Exploring dyanamics in the cafe industry. Coventry: Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University.
While the study focuses on the UK café industry, this blog will take a broader perspective consider different elements of café culture, the café, coffee and tea industries. Essentially it’s a space for me to consider all the interesting things happening around coffee and cafés that I can’t fit into just one project.
I’m always interested to hear about new cafés, developments in the café industry and in general about the various elements of café culture – so please do get in touch if you have any ideas, or want to discuss the project.