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Thread: New life for downtowns

  1. #1

    New life for downtowns

    Our downtown is on a fast slide down the toilet...we have a University and a regional retail center in development. Meanwhile downtown needs help. Michael Freedman, a San Francisco urban planner, suggests we look to "transform" downtown into a nighttime center (restaurants, theater, etc). Anyone out there having a similar experience? I would really like to hear some different views.

  2. #2

    New life for Downtowns

    Greenville, SC is an excellent example. Population apprx. 50+ thousand, ten years ago downtown dead after departments stores went to malls...bars, nightlife, music, specialty shops have found a place...City built a performing arts center and a downtown market---working out nicely.

  3. #3

    New life for Downtowns

    Iowa City, Iowa, also a University town, experienced similar problems in the 1970s. The downtown was dead after merchants left for the outlying malls. Now downtown is vital and has historic quality. Two sections of street were closed and a nicely landscaped and brick paved walking mall created. In good weather food vendors and performers attract crowds. Downtown further revitalized by building new mall in CBD.

  4. #4

    New life for Downtowns

    Downtown Tempe, AZ was in the same situation 12-15 years ago. Even though Arizona State University is located close to downtown, downtown was dead. Today, it is a thriving downtown with over 70 nightclubs and restuarants along with office and retail developments. It was tough going in the beginning, but the City spent many dollars to create a pedestrian environment that attracted the type of uses they have today. It is a very nice pedestrian environment using brick sidewalks and restoring historic buildings. It would be worthwhile to give them a call.

  5. #5

    New life for Downtowns

    The AIA Professional Interest Group just had a national meeting in San Diego, and is planning one in Boston in October. Suggest you contact John Kaliski at (310)450-8246; he is chair of the Planning group for National AIA.Lots of resources here.

  6. #6

    New life for Downtowns

    At UCSB in Santa Barbara our true town is Goleta not Santa Barbara. Goleta is suffereing and missing the boat by not catering to the 15,000+ students in the Isla Vista area. If Goleta was to revitalize itself with mixed use, in the form of night spots with integrated residential the town would have more life. Its a far enough drive to downtown SB that Goleta would be a viable alternative.. Any suggestions on what would be best to propose for my planning class?

  7. #7

    New life for Downtowns

    We have been quite successful in Lakeland by creating an environment conducive to private investment. The key to successful downtown retail, we have found, is not to compete with the suburbs but provide a product or service that is unique in the market. Of course, the public environment must give small retailers confidence that the area can be successful and, of course, the market has to be able to support the product or service.

    While the goal is to bring new private investment to the area, local government has to be committed and show that commitment to redevelopment. In other words, the public sector has to lead the way if the private sector is to respond. If you want to talk further, please call my office at 941/687-8910.

  8. #8

    New life for Downtowns

    I am a master's planning student at the Technical University of Nova Scotia in Halifax. I am writing my thesis this year and my topic is revitalizing downtowns. Well it is a little more intricate than this but you get the point. The example mentioned above sounds very interesting and I wondered where I could begin to get some information on it. Being a Canadian Student I do not have a chance to gather much recent information from the United States which is too bad. If you could help me out I would really appreciate it.

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