Communities have a lot to consider as gas prices continually increase and residents become more concerned about transportation costs. The Quarterly Magazine (Third Issue, 2008) recently pointed out in one of its articles that “expensive gas is making urban redevelopment and revitalization viable in cities across the nation.” These changes offer cities and communities the opportunity to make large changes in regard to revitalizations of downtown and neighborhood areas.
Many community and downtown revitalizations are aiming to create mixed-use developments and much more compact areas for residents. Family-friendly living spaces are becoming essential in many of these revitalizations, as are shopping areas with a more “village-like” feel to them, rather than big box retailers.
Redeveloping downtown and neighborhoods into one area includes “encouraging denser mixed land use,” which creates an locale for residents to live, work and play, typically all within a couple of miles. There are several approaches that can be taken in communities, but largely the “right approach” depends on what is available within your community.
The bottom line is that as times are changing, so are resident’s preferences. Revitalization allows communities to update what is already there and make some updates that reflect the citizen’s lifestyles. Be sure to stay in touch with “the realities of the market place,” your community needs to consider its long-term goals to ensure success!