The BCSC has appointed Bartlett School of Planning at University College, London to undertake the second phase of its research into how retail-led regeneration can be applied to smaller towns across the UK.
The Bartlett Report, entitled Developing a Retail-Led Renaissance in Smaller Centres, is expected to be published in October, in time for this year's BCSC Conference.
Bartlett School project director Dr Matthew Carmona said: 'Although signs of urban renaissance are increasingly obvious in some of our largest conurbations, a real danger exists that some of our second-order cities and larger towns will be left behind.
'The role of retail in helping spark a renaissance here is likely to be a significant one.'
BCSC president Andrew Ogg, who headed the first stage of the research in 2002, said the biggest challenge facing the industry was bringing the benefits of new development to locations where rents were still below£100 Zone A.
Ogg explained that this meant development would not be viable without local authority involvement.