A town center should be a place where one can walk, with open air multi-use development that is designed around a clearly identifiable public realm. Town centers are used for retail, leisure, dining and residential purposes.
Retails are successful for example in eastern Colombus unlike downtown Colombus, is an example of a successful town center, Eastern Columbus was built in a green field, and has 15 million visitors a year, and this was in 1993. It had inviting public place and filled with people. There are other people however who do not like places filled with people and prefer town centers with no people usually to spend their free time.
Streetcar era, in Detroit, in 1930 the streets even though had a few vehicles here and there, the street is seen to clear with scattered pedestrians. Also, there is the mall era, as seen in Pennsylvania. This was a shopping technology considered to be an improvement from the streetcar era. Another era called the Place-making era then followed, which is more like a shift back to Street car era only that it had better and improved buildings such as in Phillips Place, Charlotte in the early 90's. This model is the moment successful model which puts pedestrians first, but accommodates automobiles such as country club plaza. This can be seen in its architecture and the quality of the street environment. The people who come to this town center come for reasons other than just shopping. They come to have a good time.
The economical, retail, household and marketability conditions of town centers can influence the success of towns. The location of a town can also influence its success. Other factors that play a part in the success of a town center include the population and the tenant mix. Population can affect positively or negatively. The population provides market for goods and services while at the same time causes negative effects such as congestion and strain on social amenities. Tenant mix such as in Zona Rosa if is a peaceful coexistence, success in such an area is assured.
The features, design and marketability of a street can also influence the success of town center. Certain features such as sidewalks on the streets increase marketability and reduce congestion on major pedestrian footpaths. These are also achieved by well-designed street networks such as in the Easton Town Center.
Other conditions such as land economics and parking charges also influence the success of town centers. The charges placed on the residential houses and parking can influence the number of people interested in such towns. These charges usually have an effect the overall charges on goods and services which may or may not attract customers to such towns and this influence success.
Also, infrastructural conditions have major effects on a town center's success. A town center with a well-defined infrastructure is obviously more successful than a town center without up to date infrastructure. Improved infrastructure ensures that the business operations in the town centers such as retailing as aimed to an optimum. Infrastructure ensures not only quality of work but at the same time increase the speed at which transactions are done. A good example can be seen when one considers a tall building say Burj Khalifa; it saves so much time to go up the building using a lift than if one took the stairs. This saves so much time and speeds up transaction rates. The overall advantage it increases the success of the town center.
Matt Welti. Presentation Slides and Audio. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBzNN811riU