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A new era of downtown opportunity

May 20, 2022

By David Dixon

Published in CNU Public Square: David Dixon, Urban Places Fellow, shares how downtowns are headed for prosperity despite pandemic devastation

Over the past two years I have heard colleagues express growing pessimism about the future of North America’s downtowns. And why not? In its April 2021 report, “To Recover From COVID-19, Downtowns Must Adapt”, Brookings noted “Across the U.S., the pandemic has left downtowns ‘cratered,’ ‘devastated,’ and ‘abandoned.’”

Yet, with the right planning and policies in place, downtowns face two decades of unprecedented opportunity.

The case for optimism starts with a quick New Norm 101. Over the next two decades dramatic shifts in North America’s economy and demographics will intersect to create a perfect storm of demand to live, work, play … and innovate. In fact, some of these forces have already been pumping growing vitality in downtowns for more than a decade. Let’s start with North America’s changing economy.

Read the full article at CNU Public Square.

  • David Dixon

    Residential Architecture Magazine named David to their Hall of Fame as “the person we call to ask about cities"

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