🠈  Downtown  🠊


The goal of Community Color is to examine the way that different business models interface with the community.

American communities were often organized around the concept of a downtown. A downtown area would be zoned with lots for multiple stores. In many cases stores would own the lot, the store and the inventory of the store.

Stores tended to be owned locally. This original concept of a downtown led to vibrant communities in which shop owners were actively investing in their community.

People traveling across America would see that each town had a downtown area. Most downtown areas had local business people actively investing in their downtown. While business owners tended to copy ideas from other towns, each town developed in its own unique way and often developed a great deal of character.


The disadvantages of downtown is that such areas are difficult to reconfigure. For example, many downtown areas were built for foot and horse traffic. New fangled horseless-carriages disrupted the patterns of foot traffic and created parking nightmares.

While shop owners owned their property, they had little over the neighbor's property. If a few shop owners let their property go, it would negatively impact all the other shops.

It was also common for petty disputes to erupt between shop owners and the store would start engaging in self destructive activities.

Shopping Malls appeared to have the answers to the problems of deteriorating downtowns.

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