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Urban Retail: Essential Planning, Design, and Management Practices

Harvard University Graduate School of Design - Executive Education
Jun 25, 2018
Cambridge, MA


This 3 day program examines the planning approaches, retail design and merchandising principles necessary for the creation of place-based commerce. This includes tactics used by premier retail and mixed-use developers and considers how they can be applied to a variety of settings. Retailing—the exchange of goods, services and experiences—is in the midst of change unprecedented in modern times. In a time when the internet globally democratizes shopping, and social media exercises an outsized and immediate influence upon consumer behavior, the demand by people around the world for public places where both commerce and socialization thrive has never been greater.

Many recent expensive efforts to revitalize downtowns or build new centers have failed because the adopted design and planning recommendations along with poor implementation approaches hurt commerce. New and old towns need intelligent strategies for the survival of their commercial life. Sustainable development and vibrant community life are impossible without these strategies.

In this program, we will explore the practical science of analyzing and adjusting all elements known to affect a shopper's mood in the marketplace, and how that informs design and development principles for reviving retail in declining downtowns and for establishing viable commerce in new ones.

Lead Instructors:
Robert J. Gibbs, AICP, ASLA, Gibbs Planning Group
Terry Shook, FAIA, Shook Kelley, Inc.

Guest Speakers:
Joseph Barnes, Barnes Design & Development Management, LLC
Patrick Bienvenue, HomeFed Corp.
Jack Cecil, Biltmore Farms, LLC
Andrew Gibbs, Stoltz Real Estate Partners
Charles House, City of Westland, MI
Louis G. Marquet, Leyland Alliance LLC
Peter Pappas, Crosland Southeast
Stefanos Polyzoides, Moule & Polyzoides Architects
Eldon Scott, Urbanspace

Other Guest Speakers may be added prior to the course.

Dates: Monday, June 25, 2018 - Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Location: Wasserstein Hall, Harvard University Campus


To register, please visit:

Published on:
April 19, 2018 - 12:00am
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