It would appear Columbia's Town Center, which is about to undergo a major rebirth, has been getting some flack.
“I prefer the word tired to describe Columbia’s aging downtown,” wrote blogger Dennis Lane in a recent post at Tales of Two Cities.
The corporate chains populating the mall and the town center area are common throughout suburban America and the huge parking lots surrounding the shopping centers are rarely filled.
Lane, however, says the town center represents the future of Columbia as planned redevelopment begins in the city. Like cities all across America, Columbia is trying to reinvent itself into a walkable and bike-able city.
Jessie Newburn, director of communications and community engagement at the Columbia Association, told the Huffington Post last month in an article about expanding her social network that she loves the community, “But it’s also really, really, really boring. We don’t have any dance clubs. We don’t have a lot of music venues.”
Christopher Leinberger, a professor of urban design at the University of Michigan, wrote about how more expensive housing is moving towards pedestrian-friendly areas in inner suburbs and cities, in a November op-ed published in the New York Times.
“In the late 1990s, high-end outer suburbs contained most of the expensive housing in the United States," he wrote. “Simply put, there has been a profound structural shift—a reversal of what took place in the 1950s, when drivable suburbs boomed and flourished as center cities emptied and withered.”
But as the city waits for the redevelopment process to get underway, do you think the current town center is boring?