USA Today has put together a list of city neighborhoods which are satiated with activity, areas which offer a “great slice of urban life.” These districts trend from the urban vicinity to its very core, each in itself exemplifying the revitalization of the American city. The list includes regions which have been influenced by deliberate urban revitalization projects, such as High Line Park in Chelsea; while other neighborhoods have experienced an influx of a younger populace which has contributed to its growth, such as Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh. See the 10 Up and Coming Urban Neighborhoods after the break.
1 – H Street Corridor NE, Washington, District of Colombia This neighborhood has been reshaped by a series of re-urbanization projects in its northeast corridor. The one-and-a-half mile district was divided into 3 sections in 2002: the Urban Living district, the Central Retail District, and the Arts and Entertainment District. Since then, urban dwellers have flocked to this booming neighborhood, infamous for its nightlife. It is one of Washington’s busiest commercial and entertainment centers, now home to theater companies and popular restaurants.
2 – Wynwood and Design District, Miami, Florida In just under 10 years, Miami has gone from being a cultural void, to being filled with things like this all over. The materialization of the Design District, a high-end area filled with boutiques and art galleries, was countered with the Wynwood area, a mostly industrial region where the creative masses started renting space for their galleries. Since then, the south side of 36th street has been host to beautiful and original graffiti art, covering almost every building.
3 – Fremont District, Las Vegas, Nevada Since the 1940s, this district has popularly been known as “the street of light.” Since the construction of the Fremont Street Experience, a covered pedestrian mall, this district has become home to hipsters, designers and, soon, workers of the online shoe giant Zappos.com.
4 – Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania This past working-class neighborhood, bounded by the Allegheny River to its north, has become a go-to destination in Pittsburgh. The neighborhood’s affordable housing appeal to those looking to renovate older homes at a low cost. Art galleries, furniture stores, coffee shops, and restaurants have sprung up along its main artery, Butler Street, while young hipsters and those who have lived here their entire lives populate this district.
5 – Chelsea, New York, New York Chelsea has been infamous for contemporary art galleries and artist studios since the 1990s, as artists migrated from SoHo. With the addition of High Line Park, along with several changes in zoning ordinances which allowed the building of such structures as InterActiveCorp (above), it is needless to say the neighborhood has been experiencing a major construction boom.
6 – Wicker Park and Bucktown, Chicago, Illinois Wicker Park has been ever-expanding since the 1960s, and has newly included Bucktown in its realm. Aside from its convenient adjacency to the Loop, Wicker Park is infamous for its local artists and independent businesses. The rising property values of the region have recently favored white collar workers, while the artists and young folk occupy its fringes and Bucktown.
7 – South Lake Union, Seattle, Washington Invigorated by the opening of Lake Union Park in 2008, this Seattle neighborhood has attracted the urban creative community from near and far. It is also the soon-to-be headquarters of Amazon.com and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, helping to revitalize this once neglected gem of Seattle.
8 – Queen West, Toronto, Ontario The western edge of this major traffic artery features an assortment of galleries, bars, and nightclubs. Known in Toronto as the Arts and Design District, this region is also host to concerts in its many music venues, including the “Drake Hotel and the Gladstone, which turns its first floor tavern into a weekly ‘Art Bar.’” The large amount of gallery space has always attracted artists, since they allow Toronto artists to show off their work – it virtually every medium – for a low cost.
9 – West 7th, Fort Worth, Texas Located a few blocks from the Cultural District, this neighborhood attracts a myriad of people. The area has undergone a cultural transformation, thanks to its sister district, and offers a calm locality amidst the hustle and bustle.
10 – Corktown, Detroit, Michigan Detroit’s oldest neighborhood is on the rise, attracting artists, musicians, and professionals alike. Housing prices are among the lowest in the country, and many residences remain on the National Registrar of Historic Places. This park of town is primarily dominated by culturally cool nightlife establishments and was also voted Detroit’s most walkable community. Photographs: Flickr users: David Hilowitz, Michael Anderson, Hector Parayuelos, Graham Coreil-Allen, Eric Allix Rogers, Randy Wick, Ken Lund, Roadsidepictures, hryck, uneasylies, Dig Downtown Detroit References: Larry Bleiberg