For decades, the terms Central Business District, CBD and downtown were used almost interchangeably because, functionally, downtowns were dominated by retail stores, office based businesses, professionals and government agencies, along with some hotels and maybe entertainment venues. Today, in downtowns large and small, the CBD functions are being rivaled or even surpassed by their Central Social District (CSD) functions. That includes housing, restaurants and watering holes, and vibrant entertainment niches that include not only venues for formal entertainments such cinemas, theaters, museums and concert halls, but also lively parks, plazas, and other gathering areas. Your downtown's competitive advantage is therefore changing in important ways. Looking beyond the draw of speciality retail and entertainment, innovative downtown leaders and community planners are seizing on the opportunity to re-brand and fully embrace the downtown as the "heart of the community" where people come to gather, celebrate, meet friends, and make new onesCase studies from two communities will illustrate how the CSD concept supports (and in fact drives) downtown economic development. Participants will also learn about innovative ways to help fund this next wave of downtown investment.
Vonie Gilreath, Mobility Manager
Phone: (843) 529-0400 ext. 202