Central Business District

Aerial view of downtown Salt Lake City, Utah with snow-capped mountains in background.

How Salt Lake City Maintained a Vibrant Downtown

Unlike other major cities, the Utah capital’s downtown has seen a steady stream of visitors even as demand for office space diminishes.

December 8, 2023 - Governing

South of Market

Op-Ed: San Francisco’s Downtown Plan Nothing Revelatory

Mayor London Breed’s newest proposal for revitalizing downtown San Francisco faces some sharp criticism for offering no new solutions after the city failed to deliver on goals and recommendations made in 2020.

February 21, 2023 - Mission Local

Aerial view at dusk of downtown Austin, Texas with river in foreground

Austin’s Changing Skyline

Multiple proposed skyscrapers are changing the shape of once low-slung downtown Austin, signaling the growth of the city as a technology and manufacturing hub.

January 19, 2023 - Bloomberg CityLab

Downtown Cincinnati

Why Central Business Districts Need Diverse Users

Central districts benefit from diversity, but a century of disinvestment and exodus has put many in a precarious position.

July 8, 2021 - The New York Times

Manhattan Construction

The Future of Central Business Districts

Urbanist Richard Florida assesses post-pandemic possibilities for neighborhoods that once relied on 9-to-5 workers.

May 24, 2021 - Bloomberg CityLab

Paris Skyline

What Is a Central Business District (CBD)?

A central business district (CBD) is a geographic area sometimes referred to as downtown, but with key distinctions critical to an understanding of city and regional planning.

December 22, 2020 - James Brasuell

Chicago Construction

New Skyscraper Added to Chicago's Skyline in Uncertain Times for Downtown Commercial Uses

A riverfront revival was well underway in Chicago. Then the pandemic hit. How can a splashy new downtown commercial development expect to fare in Covid's world?

October 12, 2020 - Chicago Tribune

High Line park NYC - Manhattan - New York City

Study: How Beauty Is a Boon for Cities

Richard Florida discusses a study finding a range of connections between a city or neighborhood's aesthetic appeal and its economic health.

May 22, 2019 - CityLab

Arizona

A Car-Centric Past and a More Vertical Future in Phoenix

Phoenix has the zoning for more height in its downtown, and future development might finally yield a more recognizable skyline.

April 9, 2019 - Arizona Republic

Madrid Pedestrian Street

Car Ban in Madrid Boosted Retail Sales, Study Shows

An analysis of retail data suggests that vehicle restrictions in the city center led to more sales and less emissions.

March 16, 2019 - Forbes

New York City

New York City Congestion Pricing Plan Ready for Review

Motorists and truckers would pay tolls to drive south of 60th Street in Manhattan while passengers in taxis and ride-hailing vehicles would pay a surcharge under a plan released Friday by the Fix NYC panel convened by Gov. Cuomo in October.

January 22, 2018 - The New York Times

Grand Central

Rezoning Begins in Earnest in Manhattan's East Midtown

The aspiration for a forthcoming Uniform Land Use Review Procedure for East Midtown Manhattan is nothing short of returning the neighborhood to central business district status.

January 3, 2017 - New York Post

Trends and Strategies in Urban Assessment Districts

Business improvement districts and other assessment districts are evolving as more residents move downtown. Among other things, place making is more important. Long time district consultant Marco Li Mandri explains the trends and strategies.

November 13, 2016 - UrbDeZine

Miami Highway

On the Surprising Efficiency of Big City Commutes

Logically we might assume that as cities grow larger, commutes get harder. It can certainly feel that way. But research points to structural factors that actually make commuting in big cities more efficient.

January 21, 2016 - CityLab

Detroit Skyline

Most Downtowns Still Lagging Behind

Central districts have been surging back since the 1980s. But in most cities, the upper third of earners still favor outlying areas and are underrepresented closer to downtown.

July 30, 2015 - City Observatory City Commentary

Young Millennials and Reborn Downtowns Bring Buses Back

Whet Moser looks at the revival of the intercity bus industry, despite its past inadequacies and stigmas. He discusses a new report that details the elements contributing to today's bus boom.

January 10, 2013 - Chicago Magazine

A Business-Friendly Approach to Urban Sustainability

Moira Quinn takes a look at Charlotte, North Carolina, where businesses and local government have teamed up to keep office buildings green as the central business district grows.

April 20, 2012 - Urban Land

"Over the Top": Downtown Chicago Considers Congestion Fee

While some may grudgingly eat the extra fee to park downtown on weekdays, others may look toward more reliance on the El--the desired response. But is a flat congestion fee on top of already existing parking rates the best way to go?

October 22, 2011 - NPR

The Office Goes Urban

Motivated by factors such as municipal incentive packages and the changing preferences of younger workers, many companies are relocating to central business districts, reversing a post-war trend that based the American workplace in the suburbs.

December 14, 2010 - The Wall Street Journal

Cape Town CBD Flourishing

Major office and retail projects are adding new life to Cape Town's central business district. Though much investment centers around South Africa's 2010 World Cup, many expect the CBD investments to continue for years.

February 27, 2009 - iAfrica

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Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.