The Evolving American Downtown
The city center, historically the hub of industrial and commercial growth, has become a renewed venue for civic and cultural activity. As businesses moved out to suburban areas, many city centers have shifted from economic engines to central meeting places for entertainment and recreation. Tourism, both in regional and national scope, has proven both a major stimulant for the revitalization of downtowns as cultural and civic centers. Downtown models range from the huge metropolitan centers most people associate with downtown to those on a smaller scale, such as we have in Vermont, that feature historic buildings, shops and reaturants. Both large and small downtowns are becoming centers that tout their museums, vibrant music scenes and sports events.