Why do people go out? What motivates them to spend their evenings and weekends in a specific place, doing specific activities? The night economy has always been a fascinating topic for sociologists, as it comprises a large part of the human experience. In recent years, there has been a renewed focus on the relevance of nightlife amid economic and social changes. This article discusses the relevance of the night economy in society. It delves into how the night economy has been shaped and the different factors that have attributed to its growth. It also provides different solutions to some of the problems faced by the night economy.
Definition of the Term
Night means the period between sunset and sunrise while Economy means the system of distribution, production, and consumption. Therefore Night Economy means the system of distribution, production, and consumption that takes place within the period of sunset and sunrise. It is as simple as that.
Generally, Night Economy is a regulated, strategic, and planned offer that respects those who want tranquility as well as those who like to go out. It describes all economic activity that takes place in the evening after many people finish daytime employment or formal education such as eating and drinking, entertainment, and nightlife (which may be described by the related term Evening Economy.
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Operations that Take Place in The Night Economy
Some of the operations that take place in the night economy include;
Eating out – restaurants, cafes, takeaways: This includes but is not limited to eateries, Hotels, and roadside vendors. A lady who sells varieties of food Every evening at a particular junction is a participant of the night economy and a contributor too.
Drinking – pubs and bars: This is very visible in our modern society. A lot of us will always want to chill and treat ourselves after the day’s job or engagement. Patronizing a beer bar by 8 pm is a part of the night economy.
Culture and entertainment – theatres, cinemas, live music, and comedy events: Most classic shows and event takes place at night or late evening. Participating in late hours engagement makes you a contributor to the night economy.
Sport – spectator sports including football, often take place in the evening, especially during weekends.
Healthcare, police, and firefighting.
The Need for Night Economy Which Shows Its Relevance
It is commonly said that the night brings out the best in people. This is also true for cities. When the sun goes down, streets and public spaces come alive with a vibrancy and energy not found during the day. Nighttime economies are emerging all over the world as a response to this, with cities investing in policies and initiatives to support them.
The night economy is one of the most important sectors in any city. It provides jobs and income for thousands of people, it can help promote entrepreneurship, can also attract people to a city, which can boost tourism, and is a major driver of cultural life. Nighttime activities also generate a lot of tax revenue for the city.
There are many benefits to having a thriving night economy.
Unfortunately, the night economy is under threat. The number of restaurants and bars is declining, and many people are working fewer hours than they would like. This is a problem that needs to be addressed.
There are several ways to support the night economy. One is to make it easier for businesses to get licenses and permits.
Relevance of Night Economy in The Society
Recreation for people:
Night Economy serves as a medium of relaxation for people who have been engaged during the day. It is no doubt that most of us will always want to take a walk or see a friend after work hours. During the course of this, you tend to get engaged with society by patronizing any product you can afford. The satisfaction and fulfillment you get during those times were provided by the night economy and should be given some credit.
Increased employment due to local spending:
Unemployment has increased drastically in our society because we all shy away from this. The dark side of the night economy has always been the talk rather than its prons to society. Research has shown that 90% of excelling entrepreneurs work at night whether directly or indirectly. Hospitals operate at night, factories operate, etc. Work shift has made it easy and thereby increasing employment in the long run.
Reduced social exclusion and increased vitality in towns:
Night Economy has also done its part in bridging the gap between the rich and the poor. During this period every citizen has complete access to every single thing available in the society. People are engaged with the help of this Economy. One can also claim some cash aside from working during the day.
Add vibrancy and a sense of uniqueness to a location.
The increase in security challenges in some areas is a result of excess calmness that is being experienced in those areas. The probability of criminals carrying out operations in a crowded area is slim compared to a lonely area. It brings Vibes to an area thereby attracting visitors and tourists to those areas.
Create social cohesion and inclusion.
Nurture the artistic and creative industries.
Provide essential services and transport for night-time workers:
Imagine not seeing a means of transport after working late into the night. You did be frustrated right? This is exactly what the world would have been without the existence of the night economy.
Challenges attributed to Night Economy
1. Noise pollution: Even as we all want a vibrant society, there is a need to certify when it is becoming a problem for some persons. Tranquility is good for some people and will not want to be deprived of comfort. It is very obvious that Noise must exist especially in a society where people move freely without any restriction.
2 Crime and/or anti-social behavior, particularly where alcohol is involved: Lack of security birthed this. Intoxicated citizens tend to abuse others and carry out all other criminal activities which can be a detriment to the existence of the night economy. This particular dilemma can be easily curbed by simply increasing the security tactics of those areas and engaging experienced and professional security personnel too.
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3. Traffic congestion: It is no doubt that the night economy increases traffic challenges. People will want to fix themselves to every available space thereby making it difficult for passersby and traffic users. Improvement in security can also help curb this.
How to Grow a Healthy Night-Time Economy.
To create better cities, and as part of national and local policy on the night-time economy, Shapiro recommends:
1. “Understand the community in which you are working and provide amenities that are genuinely needed – this is how you will create value.”: People dive into businesses without conducting a feasibility study of how it works and the intending localization of their business. Erecting a hotel or a modern eatery in a remote rural area can be a tragedy as the business cannot the test of time. Intensive study is an essential requirement before erecting a business especially when it has to do with the night economy.
2. Perceptions need to change: The night is perceived as a negative space where crime and conflict are exacerbated. As a result, cities, and places are planned for the daytime but licensed and restricted at night. An average Nigerian has been trained with this mindset and it’s pathetic. Recreating this mindset might be very difficult but then it’s a gradual process.
3. Involve all city departments — planning and housing, regeneration and development, tourism and culture, environmental health, police, and the health service. “Most importantly, include all citizens, residents, and businesses. Those that wish to reduce activities between 6 pm and 6 am are equally important.” Every single person in the society should be carried along as the society or night economy tends to grow faster when a large percentage of the population understands its importance.
4. Devolve more national power to regions and cities – “More local power allows for better local decisions”. This is where a delegation of powers comes in. The leaders at the top need to make laws that allow local government autonomy. It is clear a functional local government or a local council that understands the essence of the night economy in the development of society will definitely push for it.
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Night Economy if nurtured and developed can lead to a drastic increase in the Gross domestic income of a Nation. These are little things that we neglect in our society. The benefits of the night economy cannot be overemphasized, the only requirement is a functional system to allow it to work.
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