The Business Case: How the Public Realm and the Urban Economy Go Hand in Hand

We’re excited to share a new resource with you—a new chapter of the Doable City Reader entitled “The Business Case: How the public realm and the urban economy go hand in hand.”

This latest chapter combines the lessons we took away from the Portland Study Tour—a city tour we organized in May, 2015 with economist Joe Cortright of Impresa Consulting, Ethan Seltzer of Portland State University and urban planner Lizzy Caston; and explores lessons from Portland on the intersection between good public space and a strong local business ecology.

Informed by entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, developers, and artists we met throughout the tour, we answer these questions and more: Can good public spaces translate to more local revenue? What is the business case for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure? How are young, talented workers spurring urban revitalization? What does it mean to see streets as commodities? How can businesses work together to attract more people to an area?

The Doable City Reader is an interactive digital resource meant for any and all people who want to make change in their cities. It originally developed out of our June, 2014 Doable City Forum in Chicago, which brought together two hundred civic innovators from around North America and inspired the first four chapters of the Doable City Reader, which you can read here.

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