Districts and Downtowns

These places typically represent the heart of cities and towns. Business districts draw residents and visitors and are centers of cultural and economic activity. Special improvement districts play an important role in maintaining a high quality of civic life and managing the local economy. The design of districts and downtowns, therefore, is high on the agenda. Design guidelines for new development, sign ordinances, and form-based zoning codes are a few of the tools used frequently to regulate the physical form of districts and downtowns. Beyond policy tools, districts and downtowns rely on careful programming to maintain clean streets, to promote local venues, and celebrate the arts.