Seven sure steps to reactivate your neighborhood

October 17, 2016 0 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

A vibrant public realm leads to successful businesses and additional economic opportunity. Here's seven sure fire ways to reactivate your community without breaking the piggy bank.

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1. Female Centric Planning

Sidewalk dining on Rush Street in Chicago

Women dominate the global market place. According to Bloomberg, women make up 85% of all consumer purchases. If your neighborhood's commercial district isn't designed to make a woman feel comfortable in that space, then chances are that you'll struggle to bring it back to life. When it comes to urban planning and architecture, this means placing special focus on lighting, landscaping, visibility, furniture and other features that enhance safety and the feeling of being in a safe environment.

2. Market Urbanism

Before and after images of Engine 15 Brewing Company's bier garden in Jacksonville's Honeymoon Yard industrial district. Zoning regulations were modified in order to allow a craft brewery and bier garden to use an abandoned early 20th century warehouse and rail loading dock.

Market Urbanism refers to the synthesis of classical liberal economics and ethics with an appreciation of the urban way of life and its benefits to society. The concept essentially embraces bottom up solutions, as opposed to those that are imposed from the top down. In general, if your community's revitalization efforts have been a struggle, there's a chance that certain local land use and zoning regulations could be obstructing market rate uses from coming in. Loosening those policies could create market rate economic opportunities for the private sector to take advantage of long underutilized spaces.

Next: Safety = Clustering

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP