Downtown Revitalization Efforts Create a Market for Contractors

A recent study by the International Downtown Association reports that vibrant downtowns contain around 3% of citywide land, but contain 14% of all citywide retail and food and beverage businesses, and 35% of all hotel rooms. This results in $53 million in sales tax per square mile, compared to the citywide average of $5 million. Not to mention that downtown residential buildings also add to the tax base. In the 24 cities included in the study, residential growth in these downtowns outpaced the rest of the city by 400% between 2010 and 2016.

Partnerships between city officials and contractors result in new and visionary downtown destinations. Along with large vertical construction projects, there are opportunities for countless other projects, including parking structures, enhanced Wi-Fi, landscaping, pedestrian and biking paths, and traffic improvements.

The Future of Cities

Ordered city geometry that is built today is meaningless for energy cycles. Resilient networks contain inherent diversity and redundancy, with optimal cooperation among their subsystems, yet they avoid optimization (maximum efficiency) for any single process. They require continuous input of energy in order to function, with energy cycles running simultaneously on many different scales.

Short-term urban fixes only wish to perpetuate the extractive model of cities, not to correct its underlying long-term fragility!

Showing Results Will Win More Funding for Transit Projects

TDM, when employed, works. TDM agencies around the country use a treasure’s trove of strategies to get people out of cars and onto trains, buses, and bikes, which is something that has to happen if we don’t want our roads to become unusable due to traffic and environmental congestion.

But one major problem with the practice of TDM is that it has had a hard time making the case that it is a cost-effective alternative or at least add-on to big infrastructure projects. It seems pretty obvious that teaching people, educating them, about how to use our systems will make those systems run more smoothly. But there has never been a great way to back up that assumption with hard numbers.

Rethinking Public Input for More Equitable Results

Public meeting-driven community engagement doesn’t produce equitable outcomes for communities. To get to an inclusive, fair outcome, the development & planning communities need to get more representative feedback from community members.

5 Reasons for Cities to Value their Downtowns

5 Reasons for Cities to Value their Downtowns

“Downtowns have an important and unique role in economic and social development for their cities and create a critical mass of activities where commercial, cultural, and civic activities are concentrated. This concentration facilitates business, learning, and cultural exchange.” – The International Downtown Association

Cities of Innovation: Amsterdam as a Hyper-Connected City

Cities of Innovation: Amsterdam as a Hyper-Connected City

As the world moves into an accelerated phase of mass urbanization and mega cities are developing across the globe, the governments of many smaller cities are looking for ways to differentiate themselves and to attract talent from around the world. Two cities stand out...

Unlocking the Potential of Smart Cities: Those Pesky Humans

Unlocking the Potential of Smart Cities: Those Pesky Humans

How do we unlock the potential of smart technologies to reduce the carbon footprint of cities?  The keys are not technological, but social.  One set of keys will be changes in finance, regulation and public expectations.  Another set has to do with better adapting the...

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