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Old 12-03-2014, 09:40 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
It's worth noting that for the most part, even in vibrant big cities, the most "Downtown" portion of the city is not super vibrant after hours. The core of Midtown Manhattan (which is actually where most jobs are located in NYC) is one of the more quiet areas in the evening. The Financial District in Boston is pretty dead at night while somewhere like Back Bay or the North End is pretty lively. The same holds true for the K Street area in DC. It's just that in a large urban city there are plenty of intact, dense urban neighborhoods for the nightlife to be centered upon besides Downtown.
In a more general sense "downtown" is the city center. Back Bay is functionally part of downtown, I'd say the same of the Manhattan neighborhoods south of Midtown. I don't think it makes much of a difference to Boston that the Financial District is dead and few live there.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:44 AM
 
Location: East Central Pennsylvania/ Chicago for 6yrs.
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I'd say a downtown can support and add a lot more people. If they become attractive for SKYSCRAPER living in condos or Apartments and boom with them in their city centers? Cities like Vancouver and Toronto exploded with it in Canada. In the US, Chicago has boomed downtown in High-Rise living..... even Seattle and Miami. That then enhance greatly Retail being rebuilt in city centers with more people living there, who were not there before. Also if they have plenty of tourist traffic for their retail. All of which my favorite Big city has.... Chicago. It supports two main shopping streets in their downtown and vertical Malls. Of course Manhattan always has had great retail never really losing any really as other city centers did.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
In a more general sense "downtown" is the city center. Back Bay is functionally part of downtown, I'd say the same of the Manhattan neighborhoods south of Midtown. I don't think it makes much of a difference to Boston that the Financial District is dead and few live there.
I'd say it does, because as I noted, the real secret to urban vitality is the neighborhoods ringing the CBD, not the CBD itself. It's one reason why Center City Philadelphia is so amazing (even as the outer parts of Philly lag). Philly had very little mid-century clearance of urban residential neighborhoods in the core. The city only had one skyscraper up until 1987, meaning it didn't even have much of a CBD to speak of during the worst of mid-century urban planning. Hence you find a lot of juxtapositions like this.
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Old 12-03-2014, 02:31 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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It's mostly due to fear of crime, especially fear of racial crime. It got really bad after the turbulant 1960s. It's hard to rob / riot / loot in unwalkable neighborhoods. People now feel safer and are more likely to like in an olde walkable area
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:05 PM
 
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It may also be due to other districts in the city having their own Main Street or CBD that has vibrancy, shopping, etc. Even in smaller cities, you may see this.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:02 PM
 
Location: East Central Pennsylvania/ Chicago for 6yrs.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I'd say it does, because as I noted, the real secret to urban vitality is the neighborhoods ringing the CBD, not the CBD itself. It's one reason why Center City Philadelphia is so amazing (even as the outer parts of Philly lag). Philly had very little mid-century clearance of urban residential neighborhoods in the core. The city only had one skyscraper up until 1987, meaning it didn't even have much of a CBD to speak of during the worst of mid-century urban planning. Hence you find a lot of juxtapositions like this.
To me that Google 360 in Philly. Tells me ...the area with the parking lot and those buildings between it and the new skyscrapers in the background. Are merely awaiting new re-development like future skyscrapers? Maybe in the near future? Even that block across the street too? Check it again in a few years? .... and look up.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Not really. There were horses and carriages before cars and people didn't travel much downtown for daily needs besides maybe work and that is why the nightlife and fun are often located elsewhere. They shopped at small local stores and had some items delivered and delivery wasn't an problem because there was an little home accessory called an house wife.
During the era of the horse and carriage, the overwhelming majority of the population DID NOT OWN A HORSE AND CARRIAGE. People didn't necessarily travel downtown for work--if they worked downtown, generally they also lived downtown. The residents of downtown generally didn't leave downtown for daily needs, because, as you say, they had small local stores and had items delivered (furniture, groceries, milk, ice etc.)
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:13 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
People didn't necessarily travel downtown for work--if they worked downtown, generally they also lived downtown.
Many didn't, they took a streetcar or some type of train to work. If you're referring to before that time, there was no downtown in the modern sense; cities were too small and single use districts didn't exist.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
If you're referring to before that time, there was no downtown in the modern sense; cities were too small and single use districts didn't exist.
Yep. Before the horsecar or steam ferry, cities were either so small that they occupied what we would consider a single neighborhood (which has now been mostly absorbed by the CBD in most sizable cities) or basically consisted of multiple small cities smooshed together in a polycentric fashion. The outskirts within walking distance tended to have slums - no one wants to walk an hour to work if they can afford better. It's only once you got out of these outskirts into rural areas where people could afford horses that you started to find the homes of some people who would periodically "commute" to the City.
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Old 12-04-2014, 03:58 PM
 
Location: East Central Pennsylvania/ Chicago for 6yrs.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetgraphics View Post
Subjective Observation :

In the beginning, American cities, like other cities, were the answer to the question : how can we build prosperity? Prosperity is based on production, trade and enjoyment of surplus usable goods and services. Doing more with less so more can enjoy is progress. Ergo, bustling downtowns should have production and trade of goods and services conveniently located. And when transportation was limited to rail or horsecart, there was a natural tendency to consolidate population and minimize distance between producer and consumer.

These forces of consolidation and efficiency were based on common sense. However, once government meddled, and subsidized waste, things changed - and not for the better.

The public subsidy of the petroleum fueled automobile and its infrastructure, while penalizing its rival, electric traction rail, was the major factor in destroying the downtown. It also reduced efficiency, led to suburban sprawl, and destruction of arable land - for short term profit, and long term loss.

To create a bustling downtown is simple - eliminate the imbalance caused by government. Will it ever happen? I doubt it. The automobile - petroleum - pavement hegemony is too large a segment of the economy. Collapse would occur before any common sense reform, thanks to current mismanagement and democratic socialism.
Government didn't destroy the trolley system in the US ? GM and the petroleum industry did. Buses burning gas and diesel replaced them and passenger rail. Thank God they didn't go after subway and elevated urban rail? Or they failed to?

Only in Asia and Europe can Communist socialism or Democratic Socialism continue to add to vibrant downtowns? With Billions in investment like in London. Usually the extreme far-right does see virtually all of Europe as socialist? Right? But no one ever says any US government program or a Republican or Democrat Administration built one. But Pres. Eisenhower did by government build our interstate highway system.? But Corporate America and individuals and groups of investors did build skyscrapers that our downtowns have and Retail.

But cities, states and federal governments can improve infrastructure that then is more welcoming to further investment. Chicago invested heavily in its downtown to spur private investment improving its Lakefront Rebuilding State street once dyeing as one Chicago's main retail street to Michigan Ave the high end one, that became among the top in the nation. After State street failed as a closed to traffic pedestrian Mall concept.... that was drab. They redid it again Re-opened it to traffic again. It looked great again and viola..... stores retuned. Even a Target in a historic former retail store came in. They built Millennium Park..... a great success and Navy Pier... now being remodeled to improve it. Grant Park statues and features restored to its grandeur again and replaced all the street lights downtown with restored Victorian originals? Rebuilt the cities Expressways. Without it the city Would not have continued to be attractive to corporate and individual investment.
If Chicago is Socialist city? They sure have a vibrant downtown and great gentrified neighborhoods near it and plenty of other great neighborhoods.

All play a roll no party is free from pork... waste... corruption from local governments cities to states. All have corruption and same all over the world. If you read our past. what even the founding Father's did politically? There is nothing new today.

I know where we built prosperity?????? In China ,Tax Breaks and all........ We gave it to them. Now they build their own skyscraper filled cities overnight.

I just don't like Extremism on either political side. both go too far.
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