Enticing visitors downtown…and then incarcerating them.Posted: July 24, 2012
Published: July 24, 2012
As much as street-level engagement for large projects in city centers should, by this point, seem like a foregone conclusion, it continues to amaze how many big ticket items—in cities of widely varying size—either engage in terpsichorean negotiations around it or neglect it completely. When developers confront a zoning ordinance or design guideline that insists on activating the sidewalks with retail, commercial, residential, or offices, they might challenge the requirement through a number of arguments: the development itself is too small, the street is not prominent enough, the economy for retail is particularly soft. If the public-sector approving agency for the development fears that the proposal will collapse without kowtowing to the developer’s demands, chances are likely it will pass, therefore lacking that street-level engagement otherwise mandated by code.