An observer of population trends and urban issues says Syracuse appears to be on the right path toward making its downtown a more thriving place.
Matt Carmichael is editor of livability.com, and was the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s annual meeting of the Downtown Committee.
Downtown Committee Executive Director Merike Treier says downtown's growth seems to be spreading or strenghening nearby neighborhoods previously disconnected from the city's core, like the Inner Harbor and Franklin Square.
She also says it's increasingly clear that downtown and University Hill are becoming more closely linked.
Also part of improving downtown’s appeal could include future plans for Interstate 81. Treier says the current I-81 no longer works since both University Hill and downtown are becoming increasingly linked. Treier says re-imagining I-81 could activate more of downtown’s street grid, spur development, and make the area more walkable, bikeable, and attractive. Downtown development has more than doubled over the peast 10 years, to $353 million, almost half of that residential.