Thursday, December 01, 2005

We Already Knew: Downtowns are Back

There’s a new report by the Brookings Institution that confirms what downtown boosters have known for years: downtowns are back – in a big way – as high-end residential and entertainment districts. The report also has some general advice for city leaders: it finds a “relationship between density and the ability to attract downtown residents.” The import of this finding is that cities should not build communities and housing that looks and feels suburban. That is, if people want suburban living, they’ll live there. Downtown residents are a different species; they want density, sidewalk dining, action, buses, culture, honking horns, and bikes on the sidewalk. In short, they want urban life.

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