Activating places can solve a circular puzzle

Retail businesses want to locate where customers are. And people like to shop in places with interesting businesses. For traditional business districts with low foot traffic, this presents a challenge to attract both new businesses and new customers. We've found that activating streets with cool - sometimes temporary - installations can disrupt that cycle by attracting people. And the presence of people, in turn, attracts retail businesses. We like to think of it as a form of "placemaking" with an emphasis on interactivity. Here are some of our favorites:

Seattle's Alley Network Project is transforming the historic (and previously desolate) alleys in the Pioneer Square neighborhood into places with interactive art, cafe tables, and performances - and using the undervalued spaces to draw new customers to the district.