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Old 02-16-2009, 12:51 PM
 
Location: NOT a native Pittsburgher
323 posts, read 744,154 times
Reputation: 127

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I got on this subject in another forum and I thought this would be a better place to get some feedback.
A big problem with our society now is the lack of community. We have given up main street for wall street. Everything has become bigger and corporate on a national scale. A town isn't the lifeline it once was to a community. There are so many small town main streets that are dying and yet sprawl seems to be rampant. Downtowns used to be the headquarters for small local or regional businesses and now that has been destroyed in favor of nationalization.
Maybe we shouldn't be blaming the government or ceos for the current economy but instead blame ourselves.
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:35 PM
 
250 posts, read 610,991 times
Reputation: 75
I wish we had more downtown areas. Especially downtown areas that sit along a prettier road with sidewalks where people stroll and kids can walk around. Now we have downtowns/minimalls on highways/major aves. The best center of towns that I like/have seen are in Chester, Springlake heights, Nutley, Redbank, Hackettstown, Montclair. I wish there were more towns that had that feel....where neighbors came out and got to participate and know their community. I always wondered why more towns didn't create a downtown center in their area..whether big or small.

I also think that when they do build these downstown areas they should make the buildings look more quaint with little peaks and characture. They all look like a row of trailers with windows in the front. I love the old mom & pop look.
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
4,123 posts, read 5,438,524 times
Reputation: 4854
Part of our jobs as residents of small towns is to support our local businesses as best we can. We have to do what ever we can to make our town attractive to new business and to the people who call it home. Our kids must have a reason to stay after they are done with College, primarily Jobs. If we allow the down town areas to go into dis-repair it becomes depressed and stagnant. The trickle down effect snowballs to a place where the small town becomes older with all the young people choosing to leave. All we can hope is for them to long for their former homes in hopes that they will someday return. Still we need jobs. If we can support the local businesses, we can beat Wall Street and Wal-Mart to some extent.

My small town isn't sitting idle, we are trying our hardest to bring life in to the community, connecting people and trying to infuse new blood into action groups. If we go down, it won't be for the lack of trying.
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Rolla, Phelps County, Ozarks, Missouri
1,069 posts, read 2,255,392 times
Reputation: 1259
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCMT View Post
I wish we had more downtown areas. Especially downtown areas that sit along a prettier road with sidewalks where people stroll and kids can walk around. Now we have downtowns/minimalls on highways/major aves. The best center of towns that I like/have seen are in Chester, Springlake heights, Nutley, Redbank, Hackettstown, Montclair. I wish there were more towns that had that feel....where neighbors came out and got to participate and know their community. I always wondered why more towns didn't create a downtown center in their area..whether big or small.

I also think that when they do build these downstown areas they should make the buildings look more quaint with little peaks and characture. They all look like a row of trailers with windows in the front. I love the old mom & pop look.
How do you envision implementing this plan exactly? Who are the "they" to which you refer? Are you talking about city governments? Business owners? Developers?

Why would someone build a quaint building downtown if downtown isn't drawing customers?

Do you believe "If we build it, they will come"? Who is the "we" in that statement?

Or do you believe "If there's a market, private enterprise will respond."

I'm always real confused by folks who want to see downtowns reinvigorated, because they don't explain who will do that reinvigorating.

Should city councils build the quaint little shops some people want?

I guess I'm too dumb to understand, but I don't see where the money is coming from to make downtowns like they were back in the 1950s (an impossible task).
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:23 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
34,454 posts, read 43,301,321 times
Reputation: 44120
Small town businesses have, in many cases, become unable to compete with the various big box stores due to price. Hard to take but that's one thing that has happened. In addition, many small business owners have been unable to pass/sell their business on to someone else. Many times their kids don't want it and others don't wish to invest. Small business owners where I am generally don't have a clue about business. EX: today was a nice day, a lot of folks came to Town to walk the boardwalk and look at the water. NOT ONE of our local businesses, except for the gas station, was open-it's a holiday after all and they "need a day off, too". Sorry I ranted.

Has anyone noticed the design of newer malls? They're replicating the "small town downtown look".
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Western Hoosierland
18,264 posts, read 7,414,942 times
Reputation: 5943
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCMT View Post
I wish we had more downtown areas. Especially downtown areas that sit along a prettier road with sidewalks where people stroll and kids can walk around. Now we have downtowns/minimalls on highways/major aves. The best center of towns that I like/have seen are in Chester, Springlake heights, Nutley, Redbank, Hackettstown, Montclair. I wish there were more towns that had that feel....where neighbors came out and got to participate and know their community. I always wondered why more towns didn't create a downtown center in their area..whether big or small.

I also think that when they do build these downstown areas they should make the buildings look more quaint with little peaks and characture. They all look like a row of trailers with windows in the front. I love the old mom & pop look.
The Town I live in has a "downtown" which most people call it "Old Town" now and it is on the National Register of Historic Places. we have wonderfull Greenways that criss cross our little "downtown" with some small and established family businesses and restaurants. I live in a town where participation in the community is very high and everyone knows each other.
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,225,410 times
Reputation: 4522


This was downtown Little Rock, Arkansas in the 1950s. Today, if you go there everything is boarded up or condemned save an adult video store. Its quite sad looking at what once was and how sprawl has destroyed so many downtowns like this across the country.
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
18,288 posts, read 20,811,069 times
Reputation: 41092
Sad thing is most people weren't happy with limited parking spaces in downtowns. Then they fell hook, line and sinker for the "under one roof" shopping concept of the malls.

Architect that gave downtowns character are long gone because of the expense to duplicate it today. Sitting all across America are dead downtowns that bringng back their empty buildings is a bigger expense than starting a business. If the business doesn't take off you are strapped with the 100's of 1,000's of dollar to update the building.
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:30 PM
 
Location: CasaMo
15,587 posts, read 7,663,421 times
Reputation: 17159
Parking is an issue. There are box stores because the consumers overwhelmingly prefer them.
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Old 02-21-2009, 11:27 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 85,104,801 times
Reputation: 18083
Quote:
Originally Posted by bchris02 View Post

This was downtown Little Rock, Arkansas in the 1950s. Today, if you go there everything is boarded up or condemned save an adult video store. Its quite sad looking at what once was and how sprawl has destroyed so many downtowns like this across the country.
That must have been before the little rock riots.But most towns that lost customers was because of exploding crime rates in teh 60's in towntown areas. As cities and towns started having ciorme problems peole move out as did merchants. Where there were riots many could get insurnace at elast reasonably. This left many cities and towns with dying areas for yuears. Some have never recovered at all othersahve only to a point.People actually left for a reson now just sprawl for no reason.
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