Do Old Buildings Contribute to Economic Vitality?

Emily Badger crunches the data on the argument by Jane Jacobs regarding the importance of old buildings to the economic health and quality of life of cities—an opinion described by Badger as "received wisdom among planners and urban theorists."
Hawkins (IntangibleArts) / Flickr

Emily Badger shares news of a new study by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which "suggests that older, smaller buildings do matter to a city's economy and a neighborhood's commercial life beyond the allure of affordable fixer-uppers."

A few examples of the report's findings:

  • "In Seattle, the report found one-third more jobs per commercial square foot in parts of town with a variety of older, smaller buildings mixed in." 
  • And in San Francisco's older neighborhoods, the study "found more than twice the rate of women and minority-owned businesses."

Badger also includes more details on the study's methods as well as a few conclusions drawn from the study by the National Trust.

Full Story: An economic defense of old buildings

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