Our street-level economy is undergoing dramatic change. Retailers are reeling from the rise of e-commerce, rising rents, and increasing storefront vacancies, along with a cultural shift from material to experiential consumerism. Today, the COVID-19 pandemic is contributing to economic upheaval as commercial corridors and the small businesses they house face sweeping closures, bankruptcy, and job losses.
Streetlife brings together scholars who have been trying to make sense of the changing retail landscape at street level and what it means for urbanism’s future. Streetlife pays special attention to the varied responses and policies that have emerged to address the competing realities of small business loss and neighbourhood needs. With case studies from the United States, as well as contributions covering Canada and Europe, this book demystifies the logic behind street-level urban retail and calls for better plans, designs, policies, and innovations to bolster sales.
Streetlife shows that now, more than ever before, we need to understand what makes our storefronts tick, what awaits them, and what we can do as planners, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and policymakers to maintain retail as integral to urban lifestyle.