Sprawl Repair? Downtown Retail?

Joel Kotkin said today that cities no longer need outside help. The day before, Bill Fulton talked about growth without population growth. This story focuses on strategies for cities to use land plans as business plans.

Hazel Borys writes:

"In the broader sense, urban design and zoning have major impacts on quality of life, attachment, risk, predictability -- major drivers of economic development. This article interviews Bob Gibbs on urban retail downtown and Galina Tachieva on sprawl repair in the 'burbs -- and their wealth-building potential at both ends of the spectrum.

Bob Gibbs encourages us to "look at great cities, when they were peaking in the 40's and 50's, they were simple. Great placemaking, good squares, places between the buildings were beautiful. Even street trees were rare. The older buildings in Winter Park, Florida, or in Palm Beach's Worth Avenue are often 1-story, $60/SF buildings."

"Cities can redevelop themselves by going back to the 20' x 60' lot, and selling them to small entrepreneurs who can build their own. Instead of waiting for someone who can build a $60 million building, the city can replat to the smaller lots, and sell under $50,000 each, then smaller businesses through sweat equity can build their own stores. Rosemary and part of Seaside were built this way. The only part of Rosemary that got in trouble was the large hotel, which went through a few bankruptcy's. It's a very good post-recession model. Instead of taking out a large note and build an Easton Town Center, build the streets and squares."

Thanks to Hazel Borys

Full Story: Monkey See, Monkey Don’t: Economic Development as a Whole New Animal


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