This tour of Hong Kong's retail areas offers some lessons on integrating vibrant shopping areas into neighborhoods.
"Retail may seem like a trivial thing, but good planners and developers understand that well-done retail is a place-maker in its own right. Its presence gives color and character to a neighborhood, and attracts users who populate the street during the day and at night. Seattle has got its share of eclectic shops , restaurants and clubs, and the city is even experimenting with some truly exciting retail formats, including a charming cluster of small businesses renting pockets of open-floorplan space in the historic Melrose Market; the recent conversion of an often-criticized rave hall into an indoor public market, and new legislation in the works to support street food. These types of successful innovations help define and delight neighborhoods, but still more ground-floor retail spaces sit empty, built because zoning demanded non-residential use at the sidewalk level without a check or balance to determine whether the surrounding density was enough to keep a real tenant in business."