10 Emerging City Neighborhoods

by Kaid Benfield on Monday, August 29, 2011 in Features

Richard Florida, author, analyst, champion of great cities – and a fellow writer for The Atlantic – has picked 10 great city neighborhoods on the rise for USA Today.  These were mostly a bit gritty not long ago, but are now adding vitality practically by the day and embodying the rebirth of US cities.

As reported in an article by Larry Bleiberg, here they are, with excerpts from the article, a few embellishments by me, and photos that I found:

  • H Street corridor, NE, Washington, DC. “One of Washington’s earliest and busiest commercial districts, now home to theater companies, popular restaurants like Argonaut DC, and the HR-57 Center for the Preservation of Jazz and Blues.  It’s also getting DC’s first modern streetcar line.
  • Wynwood and Design District, Miami. “As galleries and boutiques have moved into converted low-rise warehouses, art and fashion has flourished.”
  • Fremont district, Las Vegas. “A world away from the glitz of the Strip, this downtown neighborhood has become home to hipsters, designers and, soon, workers of the online shoe giant, which will be headquartered here in the old City Hall building.”
  • Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh. “This former gritty, working-class neighborhood is now populated by professionals, artists and students. A design district hosts art festivals.”
  • Chelsea, New York. “Chelsea is still a place that has authentic, unique independent shops.  There are very few brand logos on the stores.”  Chelsea is adjacent to NRDC’s New York City headquarters at 20th Street and 6th Avenue.
  • Wicker Park & Bucktown, Chicago. “This Chicago neighborhood northwest of the Loop developed in the 1870s and has some of the best Victorian architecture in the city. Recently, it has found new life . . . ‘It has gone through great updating with young people moving in,’ Florida says. ‘It’s an example of how Chicago has reinvented itself.’
  • South Lake Union, Seattle. “Tech start-ups have helped revitalize this once-derelict neighborhood, soon to be home to the headquarters of and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. ‘This is what the new urban creative economy looks like,’ Florida says.”
  • Queen West, Toronto. (photo at top of post)  “The western edge of this major traffic artery now boasts an array of restaurants, bars and shops. Visitors come for music venues, including the Drake Hotel and the Gladstone, which turns its first floor tavern into a weekly ‘Art Bar.’”
  • West 7th, Fort Worth. “Located just a few blocks from the city’s museum-packed cultural district, the area attracts students, empty-nesters and young families, alike.”
  • Corktown, Detroit. “Corktown, the city’s oldest neighborhood, is on the rise, attracting artists, musicians and professionals. ‘People live there for a fraction of what they would pay in New York or Washington,’ Florida says.”  Originally an Irish neighborhood (thus the name), Corktown was also voted the city’s “most walkable neighborhood.”

Read the entire article in USA Today here.

Publication of the blog will be reduced (but not stopped) while I am on vacation, until after Labor Day.

Move your cursor over the images for credit information and links.

Kaid Benfield writes (almost) daily about community, development, and the environment.  For more posts, see his blog’s home page.

Originally published on Switchboard, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Staff Blog Visit NRDCs Switchboard Blog