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Episode 3

Living Downtown

Focusing on the most important element in creating vibrant urban centers — people living in the heart of town — and the most challenging issue facing today’s cities — affordable housing — we meet downtown dwellers who weigh in on the pros and cons of their decisions to live in the city. And we look at how cities work to attract people, evaluate attempts to transform formerly forgotten spaces into desirable mixed-income places and drop in on new neighborhoods to see how well they are achieving stated goals.

Living Downtown

We examine how one city has welcomed tens of thousands of new downtown residents, another is attempting to attract people to the urban core and a third has effectively remade its onetime business hub into a Central Residential District.

  • Loop Dreams Chicago
  • Petro Metro Houston
  • Residential Central San Diego


We drop in on three neighborhoods once to be avoided that are now fully functioning communities serving a wide spectrum of residents.

  • Centennial Place: Atlanta
  • Over-the-Rhine: Cincinnati
  • Regents Park: Toronto

Brave New Worlds

From ocean to ocean we evaluate three new urban neighborhoods to see who they are serving and how well they are faring.

  • Kakaako: Honolulu
  • Essex Crossing: New York
  • Pearl District: Portland
  • Loop Dreams: Chicago
  • Petro Metro: Houston
  • Residential Central: San Diego
  • Centennial Place: Atlanta
  • Over-the-Rhine: Cincinnati
  • Regents Park: Toronto
  • Kakaako: Honolulu
  • Essex Crossing: New York
  • Pearl District: Portland