September 28 2012

5 Facts About Revitalizing the City of Richmond, Virginia’s Downtown

Downtown Richmond, VirginiaA healthy downtown is an important economic component for any city that desires to increase revenue, improve tourism, or revitalize local neighborhoods. Thus, the local downtown is by and large the life-blood of any metropolitan area.

Like many other cities and small towns, urban planners from Richmond, Virginia have been working tirelessly to revitalize the city by improving the overall downtown area. But while urban planners have worked tirelessly to develop plans that will make the Richmond, Virginia downtown area more economically viable, many area residents and experts continue fear that all of these new-found ideas will eventually disappear like so many others before them.

Therefore, the question we must ask ourselves is how much stock can put into these new urban designs and how likely are we to see some of these plans come to life?

Whether we believe in the new processes that the government is following or we simply don’t believe that they will work, many will agree that any plan that contains goals for addressing urban design, housing, economic diversity, transportation, and accessibility have a much greater potential for success than those without them.

Thus, there are 5 factors that officials must consider when implementing a downtown plan:

  1. Virginia Commonwealth University’s new architectural designs could spark renewed interest for investors who want to bring new businesses to the downtown area;
  2. The addition of new modes of transportation, such as the Bus Rapid Transit, would make the downtown area more attractive for people;
  3. Adding accessible retail options, like grocery stores or dining establishments, makes it much more accessible to shop downtown safely;
  4. Visually improving the older downtown buildings tend to give people a sense of safety and is thus a critical factor in revitalizing any downtown area;
  5. Any contemporary plan that doesn’t include ideas for creating economic diversity will fail.

Do you think that having a healthy downtown area will improve a city?

Credits: Image and data linked to sources.

Jamaal Davis

Jamaal Davis has lived in Richmond, Virginia for over 37 years, where he was born and raised. He studied Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University. His interests in urban planning began in the low-income neighborhoods of Southside Richmond, Virginia. As a result of those years, he has made it his goal to affect change in his community by changing its surroundings. His passion for planning lies in his desire to understand and change the housing conditions in low-income neighborhoods. He is currently working for a private consulting firm, but he plans on obtaining a planning position within a local government. His ultimate goal is to work for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 28th, 2012 at 6:39 pm and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Government/Politics, Infrastructure, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Transportation, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


2 Responses to “5 Facts About Revitalizing the City of Richmond, Virginia’s Downtown”

  1. Darnell Says:


    I believe that you are right on point regarding the vitality of a city and a direct connection to the health and attractiveness of its downtown area. I am from Chicago and I have witnessed the transformation Chicago undertook to reinvent itself. I currently live in Richmond, Virginia and I, like so many others of both native and transplanted heritage, await the full development of Richmond’s downtown area into that of urban sophistication. As a river city, Richmond has so much to offer and due to its geographical location between international cities such as Washington D.C. and treasure troves like Charlotte and Asheville N.C., the city is positioned for growth. Attracting another major industry with employment options of a professional nature would also attract young professionals who would help drive revitalization. I feel that you are also correct to point out that a well connected and efficient transportation network is critical as well. I decided to make Richmond my home because I saw the potential. That decision was made five years ago and I dont regret one second of it. I hope to see the city grow even further in the next five years.

  2. Jamaal Davis Says:

    Yes, I totally agree with you. Richmond has great potential and I believe that the river is the key to it all. I thank you for your comments.

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