For decades after the American industrial revolution, the “downtown” of any city was the simple manifestation of a bounded social and commercial structure.
Living downtown was efficient, functional, and desirable. Families, the elderly, young couples, rich and poor alike all lived in or near the center to be near where they worked and where the goods and services they needed for living were provided. But with the rise of suburbanization, America’s downtowns have evolved into employment and entertainment centers, at best. This paper examines the opportunity that cities currently have to bring residents back to their downtowns and identifies ten steps that can be taken to create successful residential life in America’s central business districts.