Downtown Revitalization: A Return To The Past?

The trend to revitalize downtown areas into mixed use communities may not be quite what it seems.
August 6, 2004, 6am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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New Urbanism points to consolidation and re-use of former downtown properties as a return to, "the way we were." However, Wlliam Fulton points out that "building housing downtown is the latest trend, but it's hardly the return to the past that people think it is."

"..the emergence of the American downtown between 1880 and 1920 was based on the opposite premise: that a downtown was exclusively a business district where nobody lived...One of the most important is that downtowns themselves have changed. Rather than serving as the one-stop shop for practically all retail and office-based businesses in a city, they have emerged as a kind of lifestyle alternative. General retail and office uses have been on the wane in downtowns for many years, and they have been replaced by entertainment-oriented retail such as theaters and restaurants."

Thanks to Fernando M. coriano

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Published on Thursday, August 5, 2004 in Governing
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