I'm helping to write a piece of legislation dealing with downtown revitalization. One of the concepts is to target a package of programs to qualified areas. The key is being a certified "downtown."
What defines the downtown as a distinct place? Is it the zoning (commercial or mixed-use)? A pedestrian orientation? Status as the traditional commercial center? Developed prior to 1950 or containing potentially historic buildings? How would you define "downtown" in a legal sense?
Another thought - how would you treat neighborhood commercial districts or the new downtowns some communities are creating?