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Durham Street Activation Discussion

The urbanist playbook has a whole section dedicated to ground floor retail as a way to "activate" a street (i.e. get people out and about and breathe life into the streetscape). At the same time, we have been hearing about the decline of physical retail, replaced by Amazon and other forms of delivery. The United States has over 5 times the amount of retail space per person as Europe . Of course, this is mostly due to our gigantic malls that are now failing. There is still plenty of room for new retail near growing and densifying centers. This type of retail still represents a much smaller footprint per person than a mall (more space in a less dense area). That said, the whole process makes me think that diversifying the playbook for how we activate streets would be a good thing. We shouldn't only rely on retail. I don't have any suggestions that are BETTER than retail, but below are a few thoughts that might be added to ground floor retail to create a more interesting

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