Neighborhoods As Employment Centers

The spatial needs of commerce and employment are shifting, and cities need to focus on bringing employment centers back to neighborhoods, argues Jay Hoekstra.

Writing for, Hoekstra argues that the urban form of cities and their employment centers will play a crucial role in luring and retaining residents, and therefore boosting the local economy.

"There should be more interaction between those who wish to attract the creative class and the new wave of urban design; and it is beginning. Indeed, more than a dozen years ago the James Irvine Foundation found that in this "new economy," firms are smaller: 55 percent of workers are employed by 100-person or smaller enterprises while 25 percent are employed by 100- to 500-person enterprises. Accordingly, smaller office and manufacturing buildings are needed. The Foundation's study noted that people have a "portfolio" of skills and move from job to job, to different types of work. Additionally, there are now more "craft" workers, more women integrating childcare and work, and more people working from home.

While there is a need for smaller workplaces, live/work venues, and work-at-home logistics, people still need the opportunity for "third place" meetings-a corner café, a local bookstore, a community garden even-within a socially and culturally rich landscape.

Full Story: Walking to Work


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