• Episode 13: Our Towns

    We highlight three cities that represent the successful coming together of many pieces. Then, we look to the future by focusing on four cities in the midst of remaking their downtowns — all with the ambitious goal of creating thriving, vibrant urban centers where previously there were none. While celebrating city centers that work well through foresight, execution and sometimes, sheer luck, we seek to learn from their successes and failures and share these experiences for the benefit of communities everywhere, large and small.

     

    CENTERED CITIES
    We visit three cities whose downtowns have been actively transformed through the foresight of civic leaders, an enlightened citizenry and an engaged business community — San Francisco, Denver and Portland. All share the common characteristics of being vibrant urban areas day and night largely as a result of deliberate actions.

    • Rocky Mountain High: Denver
    • Just Doing It Right: Portland
    • Golden Gait: San Francisco

    DESPERATELY SEEKING CENTERS
    We conclude the series by checking in on four city centers in various stages of transformation — from Uptown Charlotte to Oklahoma City to Grand Rapids and Indianapolis. All four offer examples of once declining if not dead downtowns that are undergoing aggressive makeovers due to coalitions of business boosters and public officials backed by strong citizen support.

    • Nothing Could Be Finer: Charlotte
    • Art in the Heart: Grand Rapids
    • Sooner Than Later: Oklahoma City