I subscribe to a news service called Better Cities & Towns. I neglect most posts and feel guilty about it, but recently I tripped over an item by Geoff Dyer from July, 2012 [since deleted from Better Cities] that gathers some of this site’s musings on urban villages into a single list.
His key point is an obvious one: the best customer base for business in an urban village is made up of the people who live within easy walking distance; and so housing is the basic ingredient in reviving an old downtown or a commercial dead zone. The appetite for medium-density housing is limited in any market; city governments get maximum benefits, in terms of spin-off economic development, from focusing apartment development in urban villages. Continue reading