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Yankee Fan

The Development of the City's Core

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With the numerous topics we have going regarding retail, downtown development, and even traffic flow, I was curious if there were any case studies of cities that had actually made this work.

I came across a white paper on the city of Norwich in England. This is a study on ideas on how they tried to grow their city core. They dealt with many of the same issues and restraints that we have talked about, including the fact that they have always been considered the "second city."

Here is the link to the white paper:

http://www.humanhub.nl/FvdH_Norwichretail.pdf

I think that there is a lot we can learn and communicate from this study as we continue our conversations about our great city.

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With the numerous topics we have going regarding retail, downtown development, and even traffic flow...

I think that there is a lot we can learn and communicate from this study as we continue our conversations about our great city.

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From what I gather, that British city took an across the board approach to make things work. Where as when Monroe Center was pedestrianized way back in the day, the city riped out the automotive lanes and called it good without much forethought or doing supplimentary things like ressisting Big-Box sprawl and taking a multi feceted approach to solving transit problems in the core and other things to attract people to the core. GR seems to have woken up a little bit by building people attractors such as Devos Place and the VAA and de-mall-ing Monroe Center. However GR has a very long way to go to make DT vigorously competitive with the surrounding suburbs.

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I agree, Tamias6.

Here were a few things that I thought were noteworthy in the whitepaper:

1. "The root of the approach was a series of interconnecting strategies directed individually at specific subject areas but together spanning a broad range of interrelated issues: retail, transportation, conservation, and greenspace."

2. (Retail Strategy) "The cornerstone of the strategies was the Retail Strategy, which...recognised the importance of sustaining the whole centre by spanning a range of specific retail and other connected initiatives, including the existing centre, major stores, out-of-town shopping, and new developments."

3. (Transportation) "The City and County Councils have since worked together to produce a sustainable transport strategy for the Norwich Area, which focuses on alternatives to car use."

4. (Conservation Strategy) " With a third of the shops occupying historic buildings, there is a clear relationship between the retail strategy and conservation."

5. "In 1985, Norwich adopted the country's first green plan, a three pronged strategy which sought to conserve existing greenspaces and habitats, extend green areas linking existing spaces and to involve the community in sustaining and regenerating its green assets."

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