The Changing Face of Downtown

0 Posted by - December 20, 2013 - Americas, Urbanism

All over the country, stale “nine-to-five only” downtown areas are being upgraded to newer, modern, and dare I say, urban places. However big or small, these cities are recognizing the chance to bring more residents, tourists, and local visitors downtown for more than just their jobs thanks to new developments.

Starting with a smaller-scale example, the Wichita, Kansas city council approved a residential urban development plan as recent as this week. They plan on adding close to 250 new apartments, and an automated parking garage to a previously unoccupied block in downtown Wichita. A small step, but a step nonetheless.

Going a step further, a $136 million urban redevelopment project in Toronto’s Downtown West seems to be gaining steam as well. Right now, they are planning to redevelop the site as a mixed-use retail, office and residential complex.  The developer, RioCan, mentioned the goal was to “create a unique shopping and recreational complex as a center for the urban population that already exists and continues to grow in the immediate surrounding area.”

Now, something on a larger scale that is really exciting – Boston’s revitalization project in Downtown Crossing. There will be culinary, cultural, residential, retail and other urban upgrades to the Downtown Crossing area in the coming months. The construction of the 60 story, Millennium Tower Boston, is what’s raising the most eyebrows, though. It will be sister to the alright built Boston luxury residences, Millennium Place. Numerous local businesses, restaurants, boutiques and other small shops could take on the positive wave of effects that a grand development in the area could have. That’s what makes projects like these so intriguing.

You can breathe fresh air into an area that has potential to thrive again, simply with the addition of a few well thought out developments. Just like that (i know it’s a rather large “that”) you could have an urban center that has the city talking again. It’s something that we can be excited Wichita, Toronto, and Boston, among others, are doing. If I were a betting man, which I am, I’d bet these aren’t the only cities we’ll be hearing about over the next few years, either.