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Cities around the world are growing at an unprecedented rate, and for the first time in recent history represent the preferred place for people to live. Urbanization has historically aided millions to escape hardship through increased employment opportunities, better education and healthcare, large scale public investments, and access to improved infrastructure and services. The city has been the ideal for heightened livability for people worldwide.
These extraordinary opportunities have also propagated unanticipated pressure on the livability of cities that remains pervasive today. US cities are faced with new 21st century challenges aimed at corroding three interwoven drivers of livability: equity, safety, and affordability. These drivers have been the pillars of American cities, and are now being dangerously tested by the increasing pressures of urbanization.
This is an opportunity to propose a future for retail in the livable city of the 21st century. Washington, DC is currently the 22nd largest urban center in the US, growing at over 13% annually, and facing transitions mirrored in cities across the country. Using Washington, DC as an example, show us what might be.
- Focus on a driver of livability; address the specific challenges to retail in Washington, DC.
- Describe and illustrate a reimagined role or typology for the future of urban retail.
- How can DC’s avenues, streets, sidewalks and neighborhoods respond to the flourishing online marketplace?
- What will be the role of brick-and-mortar shops, how can urban warehousing progress, and how will District residential life, evolve?
- Considering changes in how we purchase goods, what new activities will replace traditional retail to sustain vibrant civic life?
- How will future mobility options influence the scale and character of urban retail centers?